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Newcastle United are set to make former Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick their first summer signing with talks entering an advanced stage, according to the Northern Echo.

It is well over a month now since the experienced Republic of Ireland international became a free agent.

But it seems that, after being linked with a shock move to European giants AC Milan and Manchester United, St James’ Park is to be his destination.

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Without a Saudi Arabian billionaire to bankroll a historic summer splurge on Tyneside, Newcastle have been forced to recalibrate their summer plans somewhat.

And while Hendrick is no Philippe Coutinho, James Rodriguez or even a Nabil Fekir, he would still represent an intelligent, low-cost addition – albeit one that is unlikely to get these put-upon supporters dreaming of a return to the elite.

(Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

The Echo reports that talks with the former Derby County dynamo are in the advanced stage now with Hendrick, who cost Burnley a cool £13 million back in 2016, set to join Newcastle on a free transfer.

The 28-year-old is more solid than spectacular, more fitness than flair, but he brings a wealth of Premier League and international experience, not to mention the ability to play through the middle or wide on the right.

And with Steve Bruce seemingly keen to introduce a more adventurous style after boring the pants of fans and neutrals alike during the first half of 2019/20, Hendrick will surely be charged with contributing more than his average of two league goals a season at St James’.

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In other news, Report: Villa boss considering late move for West Ham target as Hammers put interest on hold