Neil Lennon confirms talks are underway over Jonny Hayes' future

By John Reid

December 20, 2019

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has confirmed that talks are underway with Jonny Hayes about the left-back’s future at the club.

Hayes’ contract expires at the end o the season. STV sports reporter Ronnie Charters revealed on Twitter that Lennon disclosed that contract talks have started.

That has to be considered good news for Celtic. Hayes might not play for the Hoops every week, but when he has played this season he has done well.

Started some big games this season

(Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Neil Lennon obviously has trust in the player, as he has used him in some of Celtic’s bigger games this season. For example, he played from the start in the Hoops’ 2-1 win in Rome over Lazio.

He also started in the Betfred Cup Final. After recovering from injury he was restored to the starting line-up for the midweek win over Hearts. He also started last season’s Scottish Cup Final win over Hearts.

You would imagine that he will get the nod to start for a lot of Celtic’s big games in the second-half of the season. That shows you how much belief Lennon has in the player.

Hayes must have been impressing Lennon in training. There was a spell earlier in the season when he didn’t look like a first-team starter, and was usually on the bench and not getting on the pitch.

Looks set to follow in team-mate’s footsteps

(Photo by Tullio Puglia – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

That has certainly not the case now, as Hayes seems to be a first-team regular. With Nir Bitton recently signing a new contract, it seemed only a matter of time before Hayes’ future was dealt with.

Now Lennon seems to have confirmed that talks have begun, and hopefully they will be sorted sooner rather than later.

Hayes might not be the most exciting player. For example, Jeremie Frimpong is more eye-catching than him, but he always does the job when required, and you can understand why Neil Lennon is keen to give Hayes a new deal. Hopefully the deal is agreed sooner rather than later.