Report: Celtic exile Jack Hendry subject of rejected Premier League bid

By Euan Davidson

January 30, 2021

Celtic defender Jack Hendry has enjoyed a career renaissance at KV Oostende.

A member of one of the sternest defences in Belgium, Hendry has been key. His side sit 6th in the Jupiler Pro League [BBC], having conceded 31 goals in 24 games. That’s a better record than second-placed Antwerp.

Earlier this month, reports emerged that Oostende were looking to sign Hendry permanently. That was in the context of interest from the Premier League and clubs around Europe. Quite a turnaround for the exiled Celtic defender.

Now, according to 90min, Burnley mounted a cheeky £1.5m bid this week, and it was flatly rejected.

Any transfer for Hendry is complicated. Not only does a club need to have a bid accepted by Celtic, but Oostende have the option to buy. The Belgians would need to forego an option to sign Hendry permanently. That seems unlikely, given the Scotsman’s form.

Utilised as somewhat of a no-nonsense centre-half, Hendry has been impressive for Oostende. According to stat wizards WhoScored?, the Scottish defender has made 1.2 tackles a game and 4.6 clearances. Additionally, from a distribution perspective, Hendry makes nearly 40 passes a game, completing 85%.

Celtic exile Jack Hendry, playing for KV Oostende / (Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images)

Celtic exile Jack Hendry and his unlikely revival

Jack Hendry is a divisive figure at Celtic. The calls for him to return seem desperate rather than optimistic, given his tendency to lose possession and focus.

He made high-profile mistakes in big games, and he’s never been fancied by Neil Lennon. To that end, Hendry was loaned to Australia last season, but that sojourn was cut short by injury. It’s only now that he’s seeing regular game-time, away from the club.

According to 90min, a litany of top clubs are interested in the centre-back, who is eyeing selection for Euro 2020.

Along with Burnley, English clubs Wolves, Brighton, Aston Villa and Bournemouth are all interested. Across Europe, Werder Bremen, Freiburg, AZ Alkmaar, Brondby and Genk all fancy the 25-year-old.

The former MK Dons, Wigan Athletic and Partick Thistle defender is aiming to get into Steve Clarke’s Scotland side, with the delayed Euro 2020 coming up.

Regarding a national team recall, Hendry said [KV Oostende]:

“Well, that is something that I cannot control myself. It would of course be a dream to one day experience a tournament with Scotland, especially when you know that they do not qualify for every championship.

“So this European Championship is an opportunity, but I can only do my best and perform constantly, and then the decision is in the hands of the national coach.
“It may help that I am now active in the Belgian league. That one is more highly regarded than the Scottish. In Scotland, you mainly have Celtic and recently Rangers again, but the Pro League is much stronger in width.”
Given the option Oostende have to sign him permanently, a transfer negotiation is tricky. Few predicted a transfer tug-of-war involving Hendry a year ago, but here we are.