Aberdeen have confirmed the return of winger Jonny Hayes on a two-year deal.
The Irishman returns to Pittodrie three years after leaving to join Celtic, where he made 67 appearances.
Hayes had been released by the Parkhead club after last season was ended due to coronavirus, with Dons boss Derek McInnes revealing the 32-year-old made a significant financial sacrifice in order to secure a return to the north-east.
McInnes said: “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. I can’t wait to see him perform in our team once again.”
Hayes enjoyed a successful five-year stint with the Dons after joining from Caley Thistle in 2012, making 207 appearances and notably picking up a winner’s medal in the Reds’ League Cup final victory over former club Inverness in 2014.
Hayes is thrilled to return to the club, adding: “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.”