'Some people aren't happy' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to big Celtic player reveal

Noel Whelan insists that it is for the best that Jonny Hayes is set to leave Celtic on a free transfer this summer.

The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, claims that the 32-year-old is wasted as a squad player at Parkhead.

Hayes revealed on his personal Instagram that he would be leaving the Hoops after three years with the club, admitting that “football at times brings tough decisions”.

He has played 26 times for the Hoops this season but only nine of those appearances came in the starting XI.

Whelan believes that taking a “step down” in terms of club size is the best thing for the four-cap Republic of Ireland international, suggesting he would be happier playing week in, week out.

Whelan told Football Insider: “You look at managers, you look at clubs – was he going to break into the first team? Does he just want to go and progress his career and be a regular at another club?

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“Some people aren’t happy sitting on a bench and being at a big club, it doesn’t really mean anything. It means more to a player to make the most out of his career, to be a regular, to be someone that’s going to go and progress his career week in, week out and play 90 minutes every single week.

“Was he going to get that at Celtic? Probably not. Is it better for a player to be honest with himself and say: ‘Do you know what? I’d rather take a step down in club size and be a regular player.’? I think it’s best for him to move on.”

Hayes is set to leave Celtic with 68 appearances, two goals and seven assists under his belt for the club.

One of his two strikes came in a 2-0 win over Glasgow rivals Rangers at Ibrox earlier this season.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED a Spanish side are plotting a move to sign a Hoops ace as the Bhoys discuss an £8million deal.