Jack Hendry says talks are ongoing about a potential Celtic summer exit

By David Walton

April 8, 2021

Celtic centre-back Jack Hendry has confirmed that his management is in talks regarding a deal to leave Parkhead at the end of the season.

Hendry has been spending the campaign on loan with Oostende in Belgium. It’s been a move that’s reinvigorated his career as he’s managed to bag 25 appearances and push his way back into the Scotland squad [Transfermarkt].

With Celtic set to be under new management this summer, Hendry’s future is up in the air. It looks like there’s a golden opportunity for the 2018 Brendan Rodgers signing to have a fresh start at Parkhead. However, with Oostende having an option-to-buy from the loan agreement, they’re now looking to activate that clause.

And as things stand at the moment, Hendry’s agent is in talks with the club about leaving Parkhead for good this summer.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Hendry said: “I still have a year left on my contract at Celtic but Oostende have first option on me. They are trying to activate that just now. Those talks are on-going with my management team just now. I just need to concentrate on my football and we’ll see what happens from there.

“I haven’t really thought about my future. The only thing is that wherever I am next season I know I need to be playing or having a chance of playing because that is the only way I will continue to improve and develop as a player.”

Jack Hendry has been a success with Oostende, but nobody at Celtic is guaranteed minutes

Hendry has had a productive campaign. In fact, he’s had a season in which you could arguably claim he’s managed to turn his career around in. That’s how impressive he’s been for Oostende this season, and it’s opened doors for him.

He could, for example, be part of Steve Clarke’s Euro 2020 squad this summer. Granted, he did make a couple of costly errors whilst on international duty. But for the most part this season, everything has gone swimmingly.

However, Hendry wants to be at a place where he’s pretty much guaranteed minutes next season. His desire to play is admirable, but if he’s coming back to Celtic, he has to understand that nobody is guaranteed anything.

Jack Hendry, shielding the ball for KV Oostende / (Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)

The former Dundee defender would have to impress the new manager. Nothing more and nothing less. Every spot in the Celtic team will be up for grabs next season. It’s down to Hendry to decide whether he has the confidence to take that challenge on.

Even if Oostende do have this option to buy Hendry, he can easily turn it down. If he has real ambitions of becoming a first-team player at Celtic Park, that path is still available to him. But he’ll have to realise the work that’s still involved in order for him to make it.

Now it’s time to see whether he’s up for that challenge.

In other news, we look at the one Celtic miracle the new manager cannot be expected to pull off.