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4th Jun, 2017 | 7:15pm

Celtic dealt potential transfer blow as Championship club table £1.2m bid for reported target - Sky

By Matt Farr

Cardiff City have renewed their interest in Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes and have tabled a formal offer, according to a report.

Sky Sports Scotland claimed on their official Twitter account on Sunday evening that the Championship outfit had joined Celtic in the hunt for the highly-rated 29-year-old this summer.

The Daily Mail had earlier claimed that Celtic were looking to strike a £1.2million deal for the Aberdeen winger, and that Cardiff could become a substantial threat to their chances of reaching an agreement.

But Sky Sports have now revealed that Cardiff have matched Celtic’s offer, which could be a bitter blow to the Scottish club’s ambitions.

However, it is said that Celtic still remain in talks over a deal.

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Hayes was in fantastic form for Aberdeen during the 2016-17 campaign, where he scored 11 goals and supplied 24 assists from 44 in all competitions.

He is still under contract at Pittodrie until the summer of 2019, but he looks likely to quit the club at the next opportunity after both Celtic and Cardiff reportedly stepped up their pursuit.

Celtic have identified Hayes as a viable replacement in the wider areas for the departing Patrick Roberts, who returns to Manchester City upon the expiry of his 18-month loan deal.

Cardiff, meanwhile, are chasing quality reinforcements to aid their boost for promotion to the Premier League, following their 12th place finish in the Championship last term.

Football Insider verdict

Given his fine form over the course of last season, it seemed almost inevitable that Celtic would be rivalled in their pursuit of Hayes. However, while it may seem that Cardiff have the power to prize Hayes away from a potential move to Parkhead, Celtic really should be winning the race. Unlike Cardiff, who are playing in the second-tier of English football, the Scottish champions have the prospect of European football on offer next term. Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has shown the potential the club have under his leadership by leading them to a domestic treble and an undefeated domestic campaign during his first season at the club. Therefore, Hayes has enough on offer to convince him against a move away from Scotland.

In other Celtic transfer news, Chris Sutton has delivered his verdict on Celtic’s pursuit of Hayes.

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