By Kevin Phillips

20th Aug, 2020 | 5:00pm

'I know him well...' - Exclusive: Kevin Phillips wowed as Newcastle close in on new signing

Kevin Phillips has claimed that it is a “no-brainer” for Newcastle United to sign Jeff Hendrick. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Jason Jones, the former Sunderland striker heaped praise on the Republic of Ireland international, claiming that he is an “eight out of 10” every week.

Phillips previously worked with Hendrick, who became a free agent after leaving Burnley this summer, during his time as a coach with Derby County.

The 28-year-old is expected to seal his switch to the Magpies imminently, with The Times reporting that he has already completed a medical.

And Phillips has hailed the Toon Army for wrapping up a solid piece of business.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “It kind of almost feels like a bit of a no-brainer.

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“I know Jeff well, worked with him for two or three seasons at Derby. He’s a good lad, he’s gone on and developed well. That’s a good solid signing.

“You know what you’re going to get out of Jeff week in and week out. You’ll get an eight of 10 performance. He’ll chip in with the odd goal, and like I say, he’s a good lad as well.

“I think that’s good business from Newcastle’s point of view, especially on a free transfer as well.”

Hendrick signed for Burnley from Derby in 2016 for a fee of around £10.6 million.

Since then, he has gone on to make 139 appearances for Sean Dyche’s side, scoring 10 goals and assisting seven more.

In other Newcastle United news, Darren Bent has dropped a £5billion takeover claim as talks reportedly speed up.