“Oostende have first option on me. They are trying to activate that just now,” Jack Hendry

Scotland defender Jack Hendry has confirmed that KV Oostende want to take up their option to buy the Celtic man who is on a season long loan at the Belgian side and has been a stand-out in their successful season. As part of the the loan deal KV Oostende secured a guaranteed option to buy at a fee believed to be £1.5m from Celtic and provided that they can reach terms with the defender – who has been part of the recent Scotland World Cup fixtures – then they have first refusal on the player.

That would mean that if the interest from England from the likes of Wolves and Aston Villa materialises then KV Oostende could pay £1.5m for Hendry then sell him on for around £10million with Celtic unable to do much about that at all.

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Hendry has a year remaining on his current contract at Celtic after signing from Dundee in the January 2018 transfer window for £1.5m. Hendry was a Brendan Rodgers signing and due to various circumstances at the time was played perhaps in too many games – many of them important ones such as the European matches against AEK Anthems (when want-away Boyata refused to play) and Red Bull Salzburg.

Hendry also found himself having to cover at right back as well as playing in the centre of the Celtic defence and he became a target for some supporters, with one incident in the game at Firhill after the defeat in Athens highlighted as being a reason to ridicule the defender who was indecisive in his use of the ball and appeared run round in circles.

Hendry’s confidence was shot and he was sent out on loan to Melbourne City where after a promising start he suffered a long-term knee injury. He got himself fit and then signed for KV Oostende for this season where he has got his confidence back, played regularly and won his place back in the Scotland squad.

Many Celtic Supporters have noted his fine form this season in contrast to what has happened in the Celtic defence particularly while defending set-pieces. Hendry might have helped with those situations is a logical conclusion drawn by many.

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That option though is out of Celtic’s hands as Hendry gets set to make a decision on the offer from the Belgians.

“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,” Hendry explained yesterday, as reported by Daily Record. “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,” Hendry said.

“For me personally, I am just focusing on every game as it comes between now and the end of the season. My management team can handle the rest of the stuff away from the pitch, I just need to concentrate on my football and to keep playing as well as I can.

“I just want to finish as high as I can with KV Oostende and beyond that trying to get into the Scotland squad for the Euros. Beyond that next season will take care of itself.”

*Coming soon on Celtic Star Books…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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