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Ireland midfielder Hendrick joins Newcastle after Burnley exit

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - March 7, 2020 Burnley's Jeff Hendrick in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Steven Bergwijn REUTERS/Andrew Yates/File Photo

(Reuters) - Newcastle United have signed Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick on a four-year contract, the Premier League club said on Monday.

Hendrick, who has 54 caps, arrives at St James’ Park on a free transfer after leaving Burnley at the end of his contract last month.

The 28-year-old made 139 appearances for Burnley in four seasons across all competitions and helped them qualify for the Europa League in the 2017-18 campaign.

"I've had over 100 games in the Premier League but I want to keep going and keep improving with a different team," Hendrick said in a statement here.

“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.”

Hendrick becomes Newcastle’s second signing of the close season following the arrival of goalkeeper Mark Gillespie, also on a free transfer.

“Jeff is someone I’ve admired for a long time,” Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said. “He’s an experienced international football who can play all across the midfield so we welcome him aboard.

“He’s a great pro, down to earth, and at the age of 28 it’s a wonderful time to get somebody.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris