Republic of Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick is bound for St James's Park after signing for Newcastle United on a four-year deal.

The 28-year old Dubliner has been a free agent since the end of June following his departure from Burnley. The player rejected the offer of a contract extension at Burnley and there was early speculation linking him with a possible move to Serie A, with clubs like AC Milan and Roma both mentioned. 

In the end, he has remained in the Premier League and will be part of Steve Bruce's squad for next season. 

Hendrick spent four years at Turf Moor after signing from Derby County in 2016, racking up 122 Premier League appearances during his time at the Lancashire club. 

He currently has 54 international caps since making his debut in 2013 and was today included in Stephen Kenny's 23-man squad for the upcoming games against Bulgaria and Finland

Speaking to NUFC TV today, Hendrick described Newcastle United as a "massive club" and said he couldn't wait to get started. 

"It's a massive club and playing over the years, going to the stadium, it's one of the best stadiums to play in, so I just want to get playing there.

"I've had over 100 games in the Premier League but I want to keep going and keep improving with a different team. It's going to be different for me, the demands with the bigger stadium, the crowd, how big the club is, so I've got to take that on and keep pushing myself and striving to get better.

"I'm looking forward to it - I can't wait."

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce revealed that he had tried to sign Hendrick in the wake of Euro 2016 and hailed the player as an experienced and versatile international midfielder. 

"Jeff is someone I've admired for a long time. I watched him when he was at Derby, then he went to Burnley for a lot of money and I couldn't afford him, so I missed out then!

"He's an experienced international footballer who can play all across the midfield, so we welcome him aboard. He'll be a big asset to us on and off the pitch.

"He's a great pro, down to earth, and at the age of 28, it's a wonderful time to get somebody. It is the peak of his career - he's a really fit boy who has played 122 times in the Premier League for Burnley over the last four years, and I'm sure he'll be a great addition to the squad."