CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers got his man when Aberdeen accepted an improved offer of £1.3million plus the services of Ryan Christie who will go back to Pittodrie for a second loan period, this time for 12 months.
CQN exclusively revealed weeks before the story appeared in the papers, that Rodgers was keen on bringing his fellow Irishman to the Champions and despite interest from Cardiff and Birmingham, Jonny Hayes was determined to be a Celtic player.
Hayes, who has been involved in the recent Ireland internationals, is now on holiday. When he returns he will put pen to paper to secure his dream move and one that he could have made over a decade ago – it if wasn’t for Brendan Rodgers.
Celtic was the likely destination for the teenager but Rodgers intervened and persuaded the winger to instead join his at Reading.
In recent matches against Celtic Hayes has been Aberdeen’s best player. He scored in the final league match of the season – and what a gaol that was – as Celtic won 3-1 at Pittodrie. Hayes also gave Aberdeen the lead in the Scottish Cup Final, but it wasn’t enough to stop Celtic lifting the cup.
Celtic players dominated the various Player of the Year awards at the end of the season and it was only Hayes who was nominated as a finalist to challenge the Celts. He is clearly the best player in Scotland out with the Celtic squad.
Hayes is seen as a replacement for Gary Mackay Steven in the squad. The former Dundee United winger is likely to join Sheffield Wednesday in the next few weeks.
It is unclear on the squad number that Hayes will be given at Parkhead. One number that isn’t going to happen is 7. And that deserves a round of applause.