Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has said that he has an ‘open mind’ about Jeff Hendrick’s potential switch to Italy after he was linked with a move to AC Milan.
Hendrick did not renew his contract at Burnley meaning the Irish midfielder will be available to move to another club on a free transfer this summer.
The 28-year-old had been linked with a move to a number of clubs, including staying in the Premier League with Newcastle United. However, it is the potential switch to Serie A side AC Milan which has garnered the most attention.
According to a number of reports, Milan see Hendrick as a strong midfield option in the free agent market, and the move would no doubt be an exciting one for the former St Kevin’s Boys man.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Kenny was asked for his thoughts on a potential move for Hendrick to Serie A and he outlined that he has an open mind to the 28-year-old potentially playing in Italy.
“I’ve got an open mind about that, definitely. I think with Jeff, he has been playing wide on the right all season. He probably views himself as a central midfield player.
“I’m not sure what his situation is, he’s finished with Burnley. Maybe it would have been clearer in a non Covid environment, that’s probably made it more complicated. He’s a very, very good player and I’m sure he will have plenty of options.
Hendrick will be hoping that whatever environment he finds himself in next season, he will still be a part of Kenny’s plans for the upcoming fixtures in Autumn.
The former Derby County man represents one of a number of strong midfield options available to Kenny, with the Irish boss name-checking the likes of James McCarthy, Harry Arter and Jayson Molumby as others who will be fighting for a spot.
“I have an idea of how we’re going to play and I have an idea of that, I have a clear idea,” began Kenny.
“I think there’s still places up for grabs, and I think the midfield area is very competitive. Obviously we’ve got James McCarthy available for selection again, and that’s great news for Ireland.
“He’s a really good player. Harry Arter as well, available for selection. Obviously James has had a very tough time with injuries, so he’s getting a run at Crystal Palace. Jayson Molumby is doing really well at Millwall.
“That increases the level of competition in midfield, we’ve already had a lot of good players in that area, so there’s a lot of competition in that area, there’s competition throughout, but very prominent in midfield.”