The multi-purpose Celtic star is having an excellent season so far.

Neil Lennon has confirmed that Celtic have approached Jonny Hayes’s people about extending his contract in Glasgow.

The Irish winger is out of contract at Parkhead next summer.

Hayes has struggled at Celtic following a £1.3 million switch from Aberdeen in the summer of 2017 [The Scottish Sun] but it’s been a wonderful calendar year for the 32-year-old.

Lennon used him mainly as a left-back when Boli Bolingoli was absent and the veteran posted a number of brilliant performances, including in the massive Europa League win away to Lazio earlier this season.

Celtic's daunting Champions League qualification challenge

Hayes, who scored against Rangers in September, said last month that he would be up for staying at Parkhead beyond the end of his current deal.

And the Northern Irish manager has confirmed that he wants him there next season.

He told The Glasgow Evening Times: “Offering him a new contract is something we’re looking at and we’ve held tentative talks with his representatives; he’s one I’d definitely like to hold on to.

“He didn’t come here as a left-back but he’s played against Rangers, in cup semi-finals and in Rome and was excellent. He does a really good job for me and in any physical examinations we have, he’s right up there at the top.”

Keeping Hayes will delight a lot of Celtic fans if it happens.

Yes, he wasn’t a huge player under Brendan Rodgers – who brought him to the club – and injuries didn’t help, but he most certainly has a big role to play under Lennon.

He is something of a James Milner figure for Celtic, someone who is reliable wherever he is asked to play, and signing him up to a new deal can only be a good thing.


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