Exclusive: Alan Hutton claims Lennon favourite torn between Celtic stay and England move

Alan Hutton claims that Celtic winger Jonny Hayes is torn over his future as he heads into the final months of his contract at Parkhead.

The former Aston Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the 32-year-old is clearly someone that Neil Lennon trusts among his squad but that his lack of starts could lead to him taking on a challenge elsewhere.

It has been reported that clubs south of the border are keen on taking the Republic of Ireland international in a bargain raid, with Hayes able to discuss a pre-contract deal come the January transfer window.

Hutton says that despite being used regularly as a substitute by Lennon, Hayes may be looking for more consistent game time and says a move to England could be tempting.

Hutton told Football Insider: “I didn’t even realise he was 32, it wasn’t until I read it, I don’t know why, I just presumed he was younger than that. 

“It’s been difficult for him as in he’s not played week in, week out but ultimately when he’s been needed he’s been the go-to man. Neil Lennon seems to favour him when he needs to make a change or stuff.

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“Maybe he would think of going down south, his last two, three-year contract, it would be nice to go down south and experience something different. He works hard, every time he comes in he’s up and down, he looks fit.

“It’s going to be difficult. I think he’s probably torn between his love for Celtic and a move down south.”

The four-cap left-sided player, who has been used as a winger and a wing-back this season, has a total of 58 appearances under his belt for the Bhoys, with three goals and seven assists to his name.

This season has seen him play 16 times across all competitions but only three of those games have come among the starting XI.

In other Celtic news, Football Insider can reveal that the Hoops have been told they can sign a 25-year-old forward if they pay £10million.