The Magpies suffered relegation to the Championship last term and are set for a huge rebuild after convincing Rafa Benitez to stay on as manager.
With veteran defenders Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini both offloaded, at least one new centre-back is needed if the Magpies are to put up a convincing promotion push, and Blackburn’s Hanley has been mooted as their main target in recent weeks.
However, their hopes of landing the Riversiders’ captain have been dealt a massive blow after the Lancashire side rebuffed a £4.5m offer from Tyneside, and reports now claim that Helander is an option.
The 23-year-old Swede, who has represented his nation at U-21 level, only joined Hellas Verona from Malmo in his homeland ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.
Although he performed well in Serie A, the 6ft. 4” defender was unable to steer his club clear of relegation – they finished rock-bottom of the division, 11 points adrift of safety.
As well as Helander, Fulham’s Fernando Amorebieta has also been mooted as a target.