It’s always a bit curious when a player hits an incredible run of form when their contract starts to run down. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes for his club to let him leave.
The past few weeks have been the perfect storm for Jonny Hayes. He’s played well in some incredible team performances, while the overwhelming sense of positivity around the club has elevated his status in the eyes of many fans.
Realistically, he’s 32 and probably the third choice left back or left winger in the squad, so that would usually see him quietly moved on at the end of the season – thanked for his service and with the respect of the fans but nobody would be overly upset to lose him in the team.
His performances in Europe and vital goal against the Rangers have captured the attention so far this season. It’s become obvious that Lenny trusts him more than Greg Taylor just now, so it’s not impossible to see the manager wanting to keep him on.
You could argue that his presence would continue to stunt the growth of Taylor and even make you wonder why they signed him from Killie, so it’s a tough choice to make from Celtic’s point of view.
According to an exclusive report from Teamtalk.com, Hayes might have a tough decision of his own to make. They suggest he is set to be offered a new deal by Celtic, but also has interest from Cardiff City, Burnley, Stoke and Huddersfield.
He’s now 32 so he might decide he wants to try his luck down south or make a move so he can enjoy his final prime years as a first choice option somewhere.
It might come down to Celtic having to take sentimentality out of it and letting him leave after this season, but it will be interesting to see what they decide to do with him and his contract over the next few weeks.