By support

28th May, 2017 | 2:43pm

Celtic in three-way battle to sign midfield goal machine - report

By Derek Smithson

Celtic are interested in signing Aberdeen midfielder Jonny Hayes, according to a report.

The Mail claim that the Bhoys are keen on signing the 29-year-old, but face competition from Championship duo Birmingham and Cardiff for his signature.

It is understood that Birmingham manger Harry Redknapp scouted the winger on Saturday during the Scottish Cup final, where he scored in a 2-1 defeat to Celtic.

Hayes has been in fantastic form for Aberdeen this season and been a goal machine.

The Republic of Ireland international has made 44 appearances across all competitions, scoring 11 goals and supplying 24 assists in return.

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He was the only non-Celtic player nominated for the player of the year award, but it now seems like the Bhoys want to recruit him over the summer.

Brendan Rodgers has just gone an entire domestic season unbeaten during his first year in charge and picked up a famous treble, but is keen to bolster his squad to help his side compete in Europe.

Hayes has featured in the Europa League during his career and racked up seven assists in 17 appearances.

Football Insider verdict:

Hayes has proven recently that he is a quality player in the Scottish top flight and has stepped up another level this season. The 29-year-old was one of the star players in the division and would certainly help bolster Rodgers’ squad if he signs. The Bhoys are set to lose loanee Patrick Roberts and Hayes could be the perfect replacement on the right flank. They would also be significantly weakening second-placed Aberdeen if they signed Haynes and they would find it hard to replace him. Celtic will need to improve their squad though if they are to compete in both domestic and European competitions.

In other Celtic transfer news, they have made contact for an available Premier League defender.

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