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Hendrick says AC Milan interest was genuine and a "confidence boost"

Jeff Hendrick says the interest apparently shown in him by AC Milan was a confidence booster.  R...



Hendrick says AC Milan interes...
Soccer

Hendrick says AC Milan interest was genuine and a "confidence boost"

Jeff Hendrick says the interest apparently shown in him by AC Milan was a confidence booster. 

Rather than the palazzos and piazzas of Milan, the 28-year old has instead set up camp in the altogether more humble Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder signed a 4-year deal with Steve Bruce's side, having seen his contract at Burnley expire.

"Don't get me wrong, I had a great four years at Burnley," Hendrick told Sky Sports, "I really enjoyed it, we done some great things.

"But, for me it was a new challenge [joining Newcastle], probably to get back to playing in the middle where I see myself more as a player.

"There was a few different things, but I don't want to take away how much I enjoyed my time at Burnley. But I'm 28 now and it's time for something different."

Hendrick opting to join Newcastle, given that there was interest from a true giant of Serie A, surprised many.

"Yeah, there was interest there," he said of the Milan speculation, "I know there was a bit of interest and that was it.

"It was a really nice feeling when I got told they were interested. Everyone knows that club, it's massive, so it gave me a bit of a confidence boost, I have to say."

Hendrick says moving from Burnley to Newcastle is a "bit of a step" up, while respecting Burnley's position in the Premier League.

But the former Derby County man feels more is expected of a Newcastle United player.

"It's a big club, lovely stadium. I know the fans obviously won't be in at the start - but a great fanbase," he said.

"Growing up, Newcastle were a big team for me to see on TV, so there are loads of different things.

"Once the offer became solid, this was where I wanted to come."

With the Republic of Ireland's Nations League games on the horizon, Hendrick says he has been keeping himself in good shape.

The 54-cap man hasn't played a competitive game since the coronavirus pandemic shut the Premier League down in March.

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AC Milan Burnley Ireland Jeff Hendrick Milan Newcastle Newcastle United Republic Of Ireland