STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Jonny Hayes seals Aberdeen return with two-year deal

The Irishman rejoins the Pittodrie club after three seasons at Celtic.

Jonny Hayes has completed his return to Aberdeen, signing a two-year deal at Pittodrie.

The winger’s Celtic exit was confirmed last month after three seasons in Glasgow.

The Irishman, now 32, returns to the north-east where he enjoyed a successful five-year spell from 2012 to 2017.

Hayes said: “It is exciting to be an Aberdeen player again. The club has made real progress since I have been away, particularly with the building of Cormack Park which looks brilliant.

“It was a major attraction in returning and as soon as the manager phoned and said Aberdeen were interested it was always my preferred choice.

“We were then able to come to an agreement to make the deal happen which was suitable for all parties. I appreciate it is a tough time for the club given the current climate with Covid-19 but everyone wanted to make it happen.

“I was more than happy to play my part by foregoing some financial gain and I am just thankful it was concluded positively.

“I want to come back and win some winners medals. I think everyone associated with Aberdeen deserves it.

“There have been a few near misses with some of the recent finals, but it would be very nice to come back and win some trophies.”

Manager Derek McInnes added: “Bringing Jonny back to the club is fantastic.

“In light of the current financial circumstances as a result of the pandemic, this has only been possible due to Jonny being out of contract and his real desire to re-join Aberdeen.

“Jonny’s determination and willingness to return here is illustrated by his generous gesture to make it happen.

“He has never hidden his love for Aberdeen, and indeed I know his family enjoyed living in the north-east, so it is no surprise to me that he was prepared to make a financial sacrifice in order to return.

“We sold Jonny to Celtic three years ago and he was a key player in our team, but he returns undoubtedly a better player for his experiences and will provide excellent cover in the left sided area of the pitch following Greg Leigh’s departure.”