CARDIFF CITY boss Neil Warnock revealed the Championship side have have pulled out of the race to sign Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes – leaving Celtic in pole position.
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The £1.2million-rated Northern Ireland international attacker has been linked with the treble winners since the end of the season.
Warnock, who failed with two bids in January for the 29-year-old ace, still attempted to lure him to the Welsh outfit.
However, he has given up the chase for Hayes – and the veteran gaffer also took a swipe at the Dons for their handling of the situation.
Warnock said: “You can only wait for so long and you’ve got to move on.
“Aberdeen want two players from Celtic and they’ve been messing us around for quite a few weeks now.
“And it wouldn’t surprise me if their manager Derek McInnes goes to Sunderland, either.
“There might be other motives behind everything stalling.
“We’ve moved on and gone on to another one or two targets that haven’t been mentioned yet.”
The Pittodrie outfit are reported to want young Hoops midfielder Ryan Christie as part of the deal and Brendnan Rodgers could be persuaded to allow the Highlander an extension on his loan period at the Premiership runners-up.
The Dons have also been linked with winger Gary Mackay-Steven who has also been interesting Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City.