Jeff Hendrick expected to chose Newcastle United over West Ham
The midfielder is set to link-up with Ireland teammate Ciaran Clark at St James' Park.
Jeff Hendrick was linked with AC Milan and Roma, after leaving Burnley, but his likely destination was always another Premier League club.
Newcastle United supporters are getting used to the fact that they will not be bank-rolled by Saudi Arabian owners in the forthcoming years - after the Premier League nixed Mike Ashley's proposed sale of the club - and their transfer dealings for 2020/21 are reflective of that.
'The Geordie Nation' had been looking forward to their club - suddenly flush with new cash - making bids for the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Kalidou Koulibaly and Antoine Griezmann.
Instead, with the 2020/21 season less than a month away, Steve Bruce has reverted to a clipped, sensible transfer list. United have already brought in Motherwell goalkeeper Mark Chapman on a free transfer and have been linked to the likes of Chris Smalling, Dwight McNeil, Demarai Gray and Brentford striker Ollie Watkins.
Newcastle are not the only ones looking to pick over the relegated bones of Bournemouth, too, with Callum Wilson, Josh King and Harry Wilson [owned by Liverpool but on loan with The Cherries last season] all on their list of options.
Bruce and Newcastle are set to tie up their first piece of major off-season transfer business in the coming days, albeit a free transfer. Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick left Turf Moor before the 2019/20 resumed to conclude its' final matches and he is expected to sign a three-year deal [with a one-year contract extension option] with The Toon.
United have released midfielder Jack Colback and are currently in negotiations with Matty Longstaff about signing a new, improved deal with the club. Securing Hendrick would bring an experienced Premier League and international footballer into the fold for the upcoming campaign.
West Ham were said to be interested in the 28-year-old but reports suggest Hendrick has made his mind up about his next move.
The Mag, and independent production put together by Newcastle fans, are not taking the latest transfer offerings well. Trying to be diplomatic about Hendrick, Dale Thompson states:
'With only four weeks until the 2020/21 season kicks off and not a single player brought in during the three weeks of the transfer window so far, it is a very sobering process when Mbappe dreams have been replaced by Jeff Hendrick (no disrespect) nightmares.
'Hendrick is the big transfer story dominating Newcastle United headlines ahead of the season, can NUFC land the 28 year old free transfer midfielder who doesn’t score goals (only nine in four seasons at Burnley).
'Jeff Hendrick isn’t the worst player in the world but he isn’t any better, or even as good (in my opinion) as the options we currently have, who aren’t exactly outstanding either.'
One hopes, for the sake of Hendrick and Newcastle fans, Bruce gets the go-ahead to bring in a few more faces. The Dubliner has shown that he can be a dependable player once he gets a run of games, but he will need more quality around him if United are to improve on their 13th place finish last season.