Celtic will have to make a big decision on the future of Jonny Hayes in the coming months. The four-time Republic of Ireland cap is out of contract at Parkhead this summer (transfermarkt.co.uk) and could therefore agree a pre-contract move away from the club as early as January.

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Hayes has been a bit part player for Neil Lennon so far this season but he has featured in each of our last eight matches – stretching all the way back to Ibrox. The winger was a late substitute in that terrific derby victory and added the gloss to the scoreline with a wonderful breakaway goal.

That strike has made him a bit of a cult hero among the Celtic faithful but there is still real doubt over his future at the club.

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Hayes and Celtic both have a big decision to make

Hayes has made just one Celtic start since May’s Scottish Cup final and that speaks volumes in a position where he’s fighting with three or four good options. Mohamed Elyounoussi and Mikey Johnston are both ahead of the Irishman in the left-wing pecking order while the likes of Lewis Morgan and Scott Sinclair are also still around.

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Hayes isn’t the type to rock the boat and is probably just delighted to be at a club the size of Celtic. Yet he may still feel he has the potential to find regular starts at another Scottish club or down south. At the age of 32 he still has a good few years in him and that may be on his mind as he looks at his options in the New Year.

As previously mentioned, he could look to seal a pre-contract move in January. That may be on the club’s mind and if they want to keep him around we could see contract negotiations beginning very soon.

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