Preston have been linked with Jonny Hayes on many occasions over the last couple of years, but he won’t be joining this summer.
Back in the summer of 2018, The Daily Express (June 22, 2018, p58) claimed that North End wanted to sign Hayes from Celtic. In the end, North End signed Brandon Barker instead.
Come December 2019, the rumours started again. The Daily Record suggested that Preston wanted Hayes inside the final stages of his deal, but again, no move materialised.
Hayes was released by Celtic earlier this month, so maybe third time lucky? The Daily Mail immediately reported that Preston were favourites to sign Hayes, alongside Stoke City.
It’s not often that Peter Ridsdale comments directly on transfer rumours, but he did so on Hayes. He told the Lancashire Evening Post that there were no truth to the rumours.
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Ridsdale instead wanted to focus on paying the players currently at Deepdale, protecting them in light of the global pandemic, rather than looking to bring in a new signing.
Now, it seems that the Hayes rumours can finally end. BBC Sport claim that the 32-year-old has decided to re-join Aberdeen, and the deal will be finalised this week, subject to a medical.
Hayes left Aberdeen for Celtic in 2017, having hit 29 goals in 206 games for the Dons. He will now return to Pittodrie rather than head to England, and he seems to be the first name we can cross off Preston’s potential summer wish list.