JONNY HAYES has lifted the lid on his Celtic exit and it appears he was nudged out the door by the money men rather than the manager. Similarly to what happened to Mikael Lustig last season – Neil Lennon told the Swede he wanted him at Parkhead but he was let go.
Jonny has told SunSport, he had a few conversations about his future with Neil Lennon and John Kennedy about a new deal – both wanting him to stay. However, it was only this week when the player was told that he wouldn’t be getting an extension but wasn’t given a reason.
“I’d spoken to Neil Lennon a couple of days before the Rangers game back in December.
“He was aware I was out of contract in six months – and he wanted me to stay.
“As the season we went on we had similar conversations and he was quite keen for me to stay. He saw me as part of his plans.
“I had the same conversation with John Kennedy.
“So, when it comes down to the decision being made this week, I don’t know whether the financial impact the coronavirus has had on Scottish football has contributed to it or not.
“But I know that I wasn’t leaving the club, sort of being phased out, and was still playing regularly from the bench coming on or in the team until this virus struck.”
Hayes was used a lot by Neil Lennon last term. Some times he came in and proved a lot of people wrong and other times he did look out of his depth. Celtic have a lot of really great technical players and Jonny could stick out like a sore thumb.
Neil Lennon had a soft spot for the player and put his faith in him quite a lot.
Asked if a return to Aberdeen could be on the cards, the former Celtic player wasn’t ruling it out.
“I’ve always loved Aberdeen, there’s no doubt about it.
“Even playing against them, I wouldn’t say it was emotional but it was strange.
“Coming back to Pittodrie and playing against them, I’d such a good relationship with the staff and players up there.
“It’s been an option before, I don’t know if it would be an option now.
“Previously, when I was out of favour at Celtic, there was talk of going back there on loan.
“I just don’t know, the current climate in Scottish football, you can’t just say ‘I want to go there’ because it might not happen.
“The club you want to go to, for example Aberdeen or Motherwell or wherever, the club might struggle with finance over the next six months.”
We wish Jonny all the best for the future unless he comes up against Celtic in the next calendar year!