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‘TAKING IT DAY BY DAY,’ HAYES

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JONNY HAYES has revealed he would be open to signing an extension at Celtic when his contract runs out at the end of the season.

However, the 32-year-old versatile Irishman,, who arrived from Aberdeen in 2017, admitted he has yet to speak to the champions about a new deal.

Boss Neil Lennon gave Hayes the nod to play against Lazio in Thursday’s Europa League Group E encounter in Rome when Boli Bolingoli dropped out.

The Republic of Ireland international was chosen ahead of Greg Taylor, the Hoops’ £2.25million purchase from Kilmarnock on transfer deadline day, and put in his usual industrious shift as the Parkhead men came back from a goal down to win 2-1 for their first-ever victory on Italian soil at their 13th attempt.

Asked if he would like to sign a new deal and finish his career at his boyhood favourites, Hayes, speaking to the Evening Times, answered: “Yeah, but it’s not something that’s been spoken about. I haven’t given it a moment’s thought, to be honest.

“I’ve always been the kind of guy that takes life and football day by day and I’ll continue to do that.

“If I was in the team and helping the team in whatever way possible with all the games coming up over November and Christmastime, the time to talk would be after Christmas.

“But I’m not young and naive. I know how things work in football. Now I’m just taking it day by day and enjoying my football. Because the team is doing well and there is so much to look forward to it’s a brilliant place to be.”

Hayes was delighted to play against the Italians and added: “It’s nice that the manager has a bit of trust in me for these games. We touched on it yesterday and had a chat about it. I played in some bigger games at the end of last season, as well, and whilst I’m grateful to be on the pitch I’m here any time he needs me.

“When you play in stadiums like Rome and Valencia, it’s a challenge because these are not places I have consistently played.”

The cult hero also cemented the champions’ 2-0 Premiership triumph at Ibrox in September when he raced half the length of the field to add to Odsonne Edouard’s first-half strike.

 

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