FORMER Celtic utility star Jonny Hayes has agreed to return to Aberdeen despite late interest from Championship side Reading.

The 32-year old Republic of Ireland international has been a free agent since the start of the month when his three-year deal with the champions expired.

Hayes will sign a two-year contract within the next 24 hours as he picks up his career at the Pittodrie club he left in June 2017 when Brendan Rodgers splashed £1.3million to take him to Parkhead.

Ironically, the hard-working left-sided performer’s last game for the Dons came in the Scottish Cup Final in May that year when he scored the opening goal before the Hoops stormed back ton win with strikes from Stuart Armstrong and Tom Rogic.

Hayes has a link with Reading after coming through their Under-18 set-up, but knocked back the opportunity of a return to England to join up again with Derek McInnes in the north east, according to the Daily Mail.

He suffered a broken leg in his first term at Celtic, but still managed to make 68 appearances and picked up three successive Premiership medals.

The versatile Irishman played left-back in the 2-1 Scottish Cup Final win over Hearts on May 25 last year after Kieran Tierney dropped out through injury.

Hayes was in the same position on December 8 last year when Lennon’s outfit overcame Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side 1-0 in the Betfred League Cup Final.

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