Friday 18 August 2017

Hayes set for Celtic move after fee agreed

Jonny Hayes is set for Celtic. Photo: Sportsfile
Jonny Hayes is set for Celtic. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Johnny Hayes' proposed move to Celtic took a major step towards completion after Aberdeen accepted a bid of almost €1.5m for the Ireland striker.

Celtic have been tracking the Dublin native in recent months and the 29-year-old is set to cut short a family holiday to travel to Glasgow and sign for the Scottish champions.

Hayes scored 11 goals last season, including against Celtic in the Scottish Cup final.

The winger joined Aberdeen on a free transfer from Inverness in 2012, making 166 appearances and scoring 30 goals for the Dons.

Celtic had faced competition from Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest for Hayes' signature but it is understood that his preference was always to move to Parkhead.

Debut

Hayes has played three times for Ireland, making his debut off the bench against Switzerland last year. Martin O'Neill recently said he was not surprised by Celtic's interest in him.

"He's been a star man for Aberdeen now for the whole season," O'Neill said.

"Considering we have other people in that sort of position, he's probably one that has found that his time on the field hasn't been as great as before.

"For instance, the last friendly (against Iceland) he was playing in, his club manager had asked me, 'Would you just play him for the hour in the game?' because they had a big, important match coming up, which I adhered to.

"I think Johnny would just like a bit more time. I think he feels that way… he's another one whose attitude is really top class.

"I wouldn't really be surprised (by Celtic's interest) because he gives you something.

"He wants to take players on, he wants to go for it and that's encouraging."

Hayes only signed a contract extension with Aberdeen in February but will now end his five-year stay with the club.

Irish Independent

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