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IN-DEMAND CELT KEEPS OPTIONS OPEN

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JACK HENDRY has gone from the scrapheap to the wanted list inside the space of a year.

The Celtic central defender, bought by Brendan Rodgers for £1.2million from Dundee in January 2018, joined outfit KV Oostende on a season-long loan last summer.

Hendry’s form took an upward surge in Belgium and the club are planning on activating their option to buy the player who was rated in the £1.75million by the Hoops when the temporary transfer was put in place.

However, the 24-year-old has since broken into Steve Clarke’s Euro Finals squad, scored his first Scotland goal in the 2-2 draw with Holland in Portugal in midweek and is reported to being keenly monitored by Premier League sides Leeds United and Burnley, newly-relegated West Brom and a couple of unnamed Bundesliga clubs.

CHEERS…Jack Hendry is congratulated by Celtic team-mates Callum McGregor and James Forrest after his strike against Holland.

Hendry still has a year to run on his contract at Parkhead, but he is keeping his options open while he is likely to go into the shop window when the Scots kick off their first campaign in a major finals in 23 years when the Czech Republic are the visitors to Hampden on June 14.

The Euros will continue with a trip to Wembley to face England four days later and Group D comes to a close back in Glasgow against Croatia on the 22nd.

Hendry, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “My main focus is just on the Euros and whatever happens afterwards will happen.

“The most important thing for me next season is playing regularly at the highest level possible.

“I think my game has come on a lot this year by playing games.

“I’m in a position now where I’ve got doors open. But even so, I’m not got any other distractions right now. I’m concentrating on these group stages and then we’ll see what happens afterwards.”

UP IN THE AIR…Kristoffer Ajer clears on this occasion, but his future is undecided. 

The Hoops face a summer of uncertainty no matter who is rubberstamped as Neil Lennon’s successor.

It’s clear Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie will be on their way and if the Norwegian leaves with 12 months still to run on his contract it will present the incoming manager with a massive problem.

Christopher Jullien could be out until October after his knee injury sustained in the 3-0 win over Dundee United on December 30.

Back-up centre-back Nir Bitton has also been mentioned with a return to Israel which will leave the squad short of recognised central defenders.

Stephen Welsh did a reasonable job after being introduced in the second part of a wretched campaign, but is is an area that will urgently need to be addressed.

Hendry could yet play a vital role at the Hoops.

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