Middlesbrough, Stoke, Cardiff and Preston are all interested in a move for Celtic midfielder Jonny Hayes in the January transfer window, a report from the Daily Record has claimed.
Hayes, who joined Celtic from Aberdeen in the summer of 2017, is out of contract with the Scottish champions at the end of this season, meaning he is free to talk to clubs in England about a pre-contract agreement from the start of January.
That is something that appears to have attracted plenty of attention from English football’s second tier, with the aforementioned quartet all keen on signing the 32-year-old, according to the latest reports.
Hayes himself is said to be willing to remain at Celtic, but it has also been suggested that the midfielder could be tempted by the prospect of a return to England, having previously been on the books at the likes of reading and Leicester earlier in his career, without making an impact for either side.
Since making that move to Celtic two and a half years ago, Hayes has made 60 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring twice, helping the club lift back to back domestic trebles in the process.
This is an interesting one.
When you look at his experience and ability, it does seem as though Hayes could be a useful recruit for one of those four Championship sides, as they look to either push for promotion or pull away from the relegation zone in the second half of the campaign.
It will be intriguing therefore to see what Celtic’s own response to this is, as it may now put some of the pressure on them to secure a new deal for Hayes sooner rather than later, rather than seeing him leave the club for free in the coming months.