Celtic in line for £2m windfall if Jack Hendry makes permanent transfer to Oostende

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Celtic could land a £2m windfall if Jack Hendry makes his move to Oostende permanent.

The Glasgow giants loaned the defender to the small Belgian club after he suffered a knee ligament injury while out in Australia with Melbourne City.

The decision was taken to send the former Dundee stopper out again – and he joined Oostende in July.

So far he has impressed as Oostende have mounted a surprise charge up the league and are now in the hunt to challenge for a spot in next season's Champions League via the end-of-season play-offs.

Hendry has just 12 months remaining on his current deal with the Hoops and there is an option to buy that is pegged at £2m.

Jack Hendry has impressed at Oostende so far
(Image: BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

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Oostende could trigger the clause – and then flip the deal with Premier League clubs Wolves, Newcastle and Burnley all monitoring the situation.

But Celtic are likely to recall the 25-year-old.

He didn't feature under the Bhoys' previous boss Neil Lennon but is likely to want to return at the end of this campaign and has his eyes on set on returning to the international fold.

Oostende's manager Alexander Blessin has certainly been full of praise for Hendry's performances in Belgium – even though he has sometimes struggled to understand him!

Speaking in an interview in November, Blessin said: "When I speak to Jack, I don't understand a word he says!

Hendry may never return to Celtic
(Image: X90200)

"But his team mates do because he's a great talker in defence. He makes the people he's playing with better. You can see them listening to him.

"He's been a tower of experience for us. Jack's the most important member of the team this season and he's one of the best defenders in the league.

"When you get signed by a club the size of Celtic at such a young age, then you obviously must have a lot of qualities."

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Ahead of the latest Manchester derby, former City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips believes victory in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final was the turning point in the Blues’ rivalry with United.

Yaya Toure’s goal settled a tight derby match at Wembley to send City through to the final at the expense of their long-time foes.

City went on to beat Stoke City in the final to secure a first major trophy for 35 years.

“That game was clarification things were starting to turn in Manchester.” Wright-Phillips was quoted in The Sun .

“That day was significant. It was a huge occasion — Wembley, a derby, a cup semi-final.”

Twelve months later, the club lifted the Premier League in dramatic fashion thanks to Sergio Aguero’s famous last minute goal against Queen’s Park Rangers.

Shaun Wright-Phillips in action for Manchester City against United
(Image: Getty)

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The last-gasp 3-2 win saw City pip United to the title on goal difference to become champions of England for the first time in 44 years, and they have since added three more Premier League crowns to their collection.

City have also won the EFL Cup five times since then and added another FA Cup in 2019 as part of a historic domestic treble.

United meanwhile, despite winning the league in 2011 and 2013, have since found trophies hard to come by with just one FA Cup, an EFL Cup and Europa league trophy in the last eight years.

“For so long United had been the dominant force but the feeling was that our time was coming — when we’d start winning some trophies,” Wright-Phillips added.

“That’s what they’ve been doing since — with City at No 1 and United at No 2 in Manchester. And that is how it is going into this derby.”

Table-topping City welcome second-placed United to the Etihad looking to extend a 14-point advantage over their rivals as they close in on a third title in four seasons.

Yaya Toure celebrates his famous FA Cup semi-final goal against United in 2011
(Image: Getty)

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Pep Guardiola’s side are also on a 21-game unbeaten run in all competitions with 15 wins in row in the league.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in contrast has seen his side’s title challenge stutter, having won just twice in their last eight Premier League games.

Wright-Phillips attributes the transformation in fortunes between the clubs to that afternoon at Wembley in 2011.

“They were a top side, winning a lot of trophies and our form hadn’t been great going into it,” said the forward who was in his second spell with the Etihad club at the time.

“Of course they were the favourites in many people’s eyes. But it was an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley — so we didn’t let recent results bother us.

“It was an amazing atmosphere at Wembley with half of it red and half blue and City fans were doing the ‘Poznan’ after the goal.

“We managed to hang on and for us, it almost felt like we’d won the Cup that day — even though we had to play Stoke in the final and prepare in the right way.

“But it felt significant and there was a great feeling in the dressing room afterwards.”

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Gary Lineker mocks Arsenal with relegation jibe following draw against Burnley

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Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker could not resist a cheeky dig at Arsenal following their 1-1 draw with Burnley on Saturday.

The Gunners got off to a great start at Turf Moor as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave them the lead after just six minutes.

But the Clarets equalised before the break in bizarre fashion after Granit Xhaka's attempted cross-field pass struck Chris Wood in the chest and ended up in the back of the net.

In the second half Arsenal had a strong penalty appeal turned down and also had one which was awarded overturned by VAR, while Dani Ceballos hit the post late on to cap off a frustrating day for Mikel Arteta's side.

Arsenal slumped to a disappointing draw against Burnley
(Image: Peter Powell/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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The result means they remain in tenth place in the table – and Lineker made reference to their disappointing season with a jokey tweet.

"Excellent point for @Arsenal. 38 points should guarantee their safety," he wrote.

The game included yet more VAR controversy, and when asked in his replies what he thought of the two penalty incidents Lineker replied: "Yes, as always. Can't stand it."

Arteta was also far from impressed with some of the decision-making after full-time, and demanded an explanation for his side not being awarded a spot-kick when Burnley's Eric Pieters appeared to deliberately handle the ball in the box.

"When you miss the chances we had, and you do not get decisions, it is complicated to win football games," he said.

Mikel Arteta was furious Arsenal were not awarded a penalty for an apparent handball
(Image: BT Sport)

"If the first one is not a penalty honestly someone has to come to the training ground and explain what a handball is. It cannot be any clearer."

Arsenal's hopes of mounting a late challenge for a European qualification place appear to be fading fast, but they must next turn their attentions back to the Europa League.

They face Greek side Olympiacos in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday ahead of the North London derby against Tottenham next weekend.

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