Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic are reportedly looking to sign Jeff Hendrick from Premier League Burnley on a free transfer.

With Celtic mulling over a move for Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick, Martin O’Neill might soon receive a phone call from his old employers.

It was the legendary Hoops gaffer, after all, who handed the former Derby County ace his international bow for the Republic of Ireland in 2013.

Back then, Hendrick was being held aloft as a future star for a nation who never really managed to replace the snarling figure of Roy Keane in the heart of their midfield.

While Hendrick has gone on to earn 54 caps and establish himself at the top of the English game, his career for both club and country still feels a little like a case of ‘what might’ve been’. At least, according to O’Neill.

“Jeff has not reached the heights that he did with us a couple of seasons ago,” says a man who won three Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic, speaking to SportsJoe.

“Jeff can and should do better for us in the middle of the field – which I feel is his proper position.

“He plays in the hole for Burnley, but when you play in that hole, at times you’ve got to be able to create, you’ve got to be able to score a few goals. There’s more to offer from Jeff.”

According to TEAMtalk, Hendrick is due to become a free agent in the summer with Celtic rivalling Newcastle United for the 28-year-old’s signature, four years after he moved to Turf Moor for an eye-watering £10 million.

A versatile operator who has spent much of the campaign in a right-sided role, Hendrick hasn’t exactly been a regular on Premier League scoreboards in the last few seasons despite developing into an exciting, goal-scoring midfielder in his formative years at Derby.

In 122 top flight games, Hendrick has produced just nine goals and five assists. And, as he approaches the prime of his career, it’s fair to say Celtic would be demanding a little more productivity from a man who has left O’Neill feeling a little underwhelmed.

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