Newcastle United closing in on deal for Premier League ace

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Newcastle United are preparing for a big summer.

While it was meant to be a period that saw the club become one of the richest in world football, the Magpies will instead be tackling a familiar challenge.

The Saudi-backed consortium, fronted by Amanda Staveley, made the decision to withdraw their £300million offer to take over the the club, citing 'the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty' as the reason.

While this was a bitter pill to swallow for Mike Ashley and the Newcastle fans, there's no time to feel sorry for themselves.

The Premier League season is due to start in less than five weeks and the Tynesiders must be ready if they're to improve on last season's 13th place finish.

Strengthening Steve Bruce's squad has to be a priority and the latest transfer link to come from St James' Park would certainly achieve that.

Reports from The Guardian have claimed that Jeff Hendrick is set to join.

The Republic Of Ireland midfielder is a free agent after leaving Burnley following the expiry of his contract at Turf Moor.

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The 28-year-old had previously been linked with moves to Manchester United and Aston Villa, as well as narrowly missing out on a move to AC Milan.

Available on a free transfer, Hendrick would certainly bolster Steve Bruce's squad.

The midfielder has made 122 appearances for the Clarets since leaving Derby County in 2016.

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

It seems that Newcastle United are closing in on their first deal of a busy summer.

Jeff Hendrick may not be a name to really get supporters hot under the collar, but he'd certainly be a top addition.

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The midfielder is exactly what the Magpies need with his energy and experience likely to add a reassuring presence in the centre of the park.

Described by Burnley favourite Frank Sinclair as 'a terrific player', the 28-year-old is in his prime as a player which could be very good news for Steve Bruce.

Newcastle need players who are ready to come to the club and hit the ground running - something that Hendrick would certainly be able to do.

In normal circumstances the Republic Of Ireland midfielder would probably be worth around £15-20million, meaning that this is a real coup.

The move could be especially shrewd given the situation around Matty Longstaff.

The young midfielder seems increasingly likely to leave the club this summer, and for the club to be able to replace him for nothing with a more complete player shows that the Magpies appear to be recruiting with intelligence.

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