According to the Northern Echo, Steve Bruce expects the club to complete the signing of Jeff Hendrick in the ‘next few days’.
They report that the former Burnley midfielder is set to sign on a free, with him believed to have opted for a move to Tyneside despite a series of talks with clubs around England and Europe.
Interestingly, the same piece states that Bruce considers the 28-year-old as an ‘upgrade’ on January loan signing Nabil Bentaleb – who we are understood to have snubbed due to his transfer fee and wage demands being deemed too high.
Here’s a snippet from Scott Wilson’s latest piece for the Northern Echo:
“Bruce is expected to add Jeff Hendrick to his first-team group in the next few days, with the Republic of Ireland international poised to sign as a free agent following his release from Burnley.
Hendrick has held discussions with a number of clubs both in England and on the continent in the last few weeks, but Newcastle officials are confident of being able to tie up a deal.
The 28-year-old will add plenty of experience to the Magpies’ midfield mix, and is regarded as an upgrade on Nabil Bentaleb, who spent the second half of last season on loan from Schalke.
Newcastle were offered the opportunity to sign Bentaleb on a permanent basis this summer, but felt both the fee being demanded by Schalke and the midfielder’s wage demands were too high.“
He may not be a flash signing and his seemingly imminent arrival MUST be followed by a couple of new attackers capable of scoring goals, however I do think this is a decent buy.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder may not set the world alight, but he was a big part of a high-flying Burnley side and someone Sean Dyche tried hard to keep – only for Hendrick to reject a new deal at Turf Moor.
With Matty Longstaff no longer a NUFC player as things stand and Bentaleb back in Germany, we’re light on midfield options and Hendrick has become a pretty reliable Premier League player.
Bruce’s ‘£30m’ budget won’t stretch far this summer, so his arrival on a free makes far more sense than Bentaleb – who would’ve cost £5-8m and demanded big wages too by all accounts.
Hopefully this one’s wrapped up soon and we can then move onto some much needed attacking targets.