It looks like keeping the current players at Parkhead is as important to Celtic as buying new players in the upcoming transfer window. And it is for this reason that the club have now opened contract extension talks with Jonny Hayes. The Irishman’s current contract runs out at the end of the season.
Hayes has managed to carve out a role for himself in Neil Lennon’s plans this season through his versatility. Although a midfielder by trade, he has been deployed most often at left-back due to the absence of Boli Bolingoli through injury. In fact, the 32-year-old might even be ahead of Greg Taylor in the pecking order despite the Scottish international bring bought in the summer from Kilmarnock to provide competition at left-back to Bolingoli.
And after tying down another versatile midfielder in the form of Nir Bitton to a 3-and-a-half year contract earlier this month, Celtic have now turned their attention to Hayes. The Irishman has made 19 appearances this season, scoring just once but that was against the Rangers at Ibrox in what will surely end up being the highlight of his season.
And Neil Lennon confirmed the news of the contract talks while talking with Celtic TV. The manager said:
“We’ve just had tentative talks at the moment but we’ll see how that goes. I like him. He’s done really well for me.
“I think he can play a number of positions and he’s very fit and very quick. He’s a good squad player.
“Put it this way, since I’ve come in he’s not let me down.”
If Celtic manage to tie him down to a contract, it will be a huge boost for the club. Although he might not be a starter, players like him are very important to a club like Celtic who have one of the busiest schedules in world football.