Alex Bruce claims that Celtic will be making a big mistake if they let Jonny Hayes leave on a free transfer this summer.

The former Kilmarnock defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the 32-year-old still has plenty to offer Neil Lennon after playing a squad role at Parkhead this season.

The Republic of Ireland international is out of contract this summer and the Scottish Sun report that the Hoops are likely to let the left-footer become a free agent.

However, Bruce insists that the Bhoys would be losing an important member of the squad by letting him leave, admitting he would be surprised if they did not hand him a new deal.

Asked if he thought it would be a mistake to let Hayes go for nothing, Bruce told Football Insider: “Yes, but it all depends on his contract and if he’s happy with it.

“He’s a good, good squad player, you can see Lenny plays him in the big games and he’s one of them reliable types so it will be a loss to Celtic, losing him, because he’s one of those manager’s dreams.

“He can play a number of positions, he looks a good lad as well so I’d be surprised if he leaves, I’d be surprised if they let him go.

Johnny Hayes claps the Celtic fans

Hayes has played 26 times across all competitions this season, although only nine of those appearances came in the starting XI.

He has a total of 68 games under his belt for the Bhoys, scoring two goals and contributing seven assists to date.

In other Celtic news, Alan Hutton has been left dazzled by a triple transfer plan at Parkhead.