By Derek Smithson
Billy Stark believes that reported Celtic target Jonny Hayes is the “finished article” and feels he could replace loanee Patrick Roberts.
The Bhoys are set to lose Roberts in the summer as he returns to Manchester City following his 18-month loan spell in Scotland.
The 20-year-old winger played a major role in the club’s domestic treble this season, scoring 11 goals and supplying 19 assists in 47 appearances.
However, the Scottish Sun report that Celtic are eyeing a move for Aberdeen ace Hayes and are prepared to offer Ryan Christie in a player-plus-cash deal.
Stark has raved about the qualities of the Dons midfielder and suggests he could replace Roberts.
“I see the logic in Celtic going for Hayes and you would link that to their hopes of keeping Roberts,” Stark told the Daily Record. “Celtic will know roughly where they are with the player and what he wants or if Man City are willing to sell for a reasonable price.
“You would doubt they could do a permanent deal and although Paddy has had a terrific second half of the season there is still loads of potential to be tapped into. Hayes, on the other hand, is more the finished article.”
Hayes has been a standout player for Aberdeen this year and earned a nomination for the PFA player of the year award.
The 29-year-old made 44 appearances across all competitions, scoring 11 goals and supplying 24 assists.
Rodgers is keen to bolster his squad ahead of next season as they look to compete in Europe, but talented youngster is not expected to be involved.
In other Celtic transfer news, Rodgers wants to tie Stuart Armstrong to a long-term deal.