Jeff Hendrick says he signed for Newcastle as soon as offer made, despite AC Milan interest

    Jeff Hendrick became Newcastle United’s second free transfer signing of the summer.

    The midfielder following new third choice keeper Mark Gillespie through the door.

    Signed from Derby for £10.5m in 2016, Jeff Hendrick ran down his Burnley contract so he could leave as a free agent this summer, enabling him to maximise his wages at the next club, with no transfer fee to pay.

    Making 98 Premier League appearances in his first three seasons, Jeff Hendrick was in the matchday squad for 28 of Burnley’s first 29 Premier League matches, making 22 starts. However, when the Premier League season restarted, Sean Dyche sidelined the player completely, as he wasn’t going to be still at Turf Moor for the 2020/21 season.

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    A Premier League regular but moving to a club that has plenty of midfielders who don’t create or score many goals, with nine goals and five assists in four seasons, little wonder Newcastle fans aren’t getting too excited about the new arrival.

    Maybe surprisingly, Newcastle gave the 28 year old a lengthy four year contract, rubberstamping the fact that Mike Ashley has scrapped age his restricted transfer policy.

    The midfielder said that once Newcastle made him a concrete offer ‘this was where I wanted to come’, Jeff Hendrick claiming this was the case despite interest from AC Milan.

    With such a long delay before the deal was completed and the crazy new season schedule, it is odds against Jeff Hendrick being available to start against West Ham in the opening game. The midfielder only having a week at most with his new teammates before heading off for a two game international break with the Republic of Ireland just ahead of the new season.

    Jeff Hendrick speaking to the media for the first time on Friday after his move to Newcastle:

    “[Newcastle is] A big club and it is a lovely stadium.

    “I know the fans obviously won’t be in at the start but a great fanbase.

    “Growing up, Newcastle were a big team for me to see on TV – so loads of different things.

    “Once the offer became solid, this was where I wanted to come.

    “Yes there was interest [from AC Milan].

    “I know there was a bit of interest and that was it.

    “It was a really nice feeling when I was told they [AC Milan] were interested.

    “Everyone knows that club, it is massive, so it gave me a bit of a confidence boost.”

    Jeff Hendrick telling Sky Sports about dealing with playing no football since March:

    “I got myself a ball and cones and have been going down to the local park.

    “I’ve done a lot of road running to keep myself ticking over.

    “It’s been strange and different but I wanted to be fit for when I signed with a new club.”

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