Jonny Hayes is leaving Celtic this summer – and Preston have unsurprisingly been linked.

The Bhoys announced at the end of May that Hayes is leaving the club this summer. His contract ends later this month, and Celtic have decided not to renew it.

The Irishman won’t be short of offers. He has been a solid and reliable performer for Celtic, whether at left back or on the left wing. He has bags of experience at 32, whilst he’s a hard worker and determined pro.

It’s now claimed by The Scottish Sun that Hayes is ‘likely’ to join a Championship club this summer. Heading to England’s second tier is deemed a more likely option than re-signing for Aberdeen.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 01: Jonny Hayes of Celtic takes on Steven Davis of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on September 1, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

It’s not great surprise that Preston are a team being linked. . The Daily Express (June 22, 2018, p58) claimed that Preston wanted Hayes before eventually signing Brandon Barker, whilst the Daily Record claimed in December that North End were keen.

The Daily Mail now claim that Preston and Stoke City are leading the race for his signature. With claims that Hayes is Championship-bound, some may wonder if Preston are in the mix.

However, Peter Ridsdale spoke to the LEP about this situation last week. He suggested that the focus at Preston is solely on paying those currently at the club, rather than looking to bring anyone in.

Additionally, Ridsdale suggested that North End already have Scott Sinclair in Hayes’ position. That suggests that North End see him as a winger rather than as a left back. That’s key, as Preston likely won’t bring in another player in their 30’s to play that role.

The consistent links make Hayes a name to keep an eye on. However, Ridsdale’s comments point towards North End looking elsewhere this summer.

Have something to tell us about this article?