Scotland defender Jack Hendry has officially left Celtic to join Belgian club Oostende on a permanent transfer following a successful loan last season that rejuvenated his career.
Oostende triggered a first option to buy for just under £2m and will now profit from the deal as they look to sell the 26-year-old - whose form last season saw him become a player of interest to several Premier League sides - to the highest bidder this summer.
Hendry had joined Celtic from Dundee in January 2018 on a long-term contract in what was a record deal for the selling club. But the centre-back failed to establish himself at Parkhead, making only 15 league appearances in 18 months before heading to Australia on loan.
His loan spell at Melbourne City was then cut short after only two games because of a knee injury that required surgery, with Hendry going on to join Oostende on a season-long loan in July 2020.
His time in Belgium has kickstarted a stalling career. 90min revealed as early as January that Premier League trio Aston Villa, Wolves and Brighton had all enquired about Hendry’s availability, while there was also interest from Bournemouth, Werder Bremen, Freiburg, Brondby, AZ and Genk.
Later that month, Burnley failed with a bid to take the player to Turf Moor. Celtic were open to business but Oostende were not prepared to cut short the loan or give up their first refusal option to buy. That clause has effectively cost Celtic the chance to cash in on Hendry.
90min has been a major source on Hendry’s situation and revealed nearly four weeks ago that he had committed to making his Oostende transfer permanent. Given his rise in value off the back of performances that saw him called into Scotland’s Euro 2020 squad, the Belgian side jumped at the chance to trigger their option for a fixed price of just under £2m.
Since January, there has been further interest in Hendry from Leicester, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Newcastle, and Oostende have agreed to immediately sell the player on, feeling they may be able to convince a Premier League club to part with up to £10m.
With other interest persisting from Germany, Netherlands and bigger clubs in Belgium, most suitors are willing to meet that valuation, which would put a tidy £8m profit in Oostende’s accounts and cuts Celtic out of the picture altogether.