Jonny Hayes sold on Celtic move 30 seconds into conversation with manager Brendan Rodgers

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Jonny Hayes was sold on his move to Celtic in a 30-second chat with Brendan Rodgers

New signing Jonny Hayes says he was sold on a move to Celtic after a "30 second conversation" with manager Brendan Rodgers.

The 29-year-old admits he had the chance to speak to a couple of clubs in England but described Celtic as "the complete package".

"Of course it's going to be hard," Hayes said of breaking into the team.

He could make his competitive Celtic debut in the second qualifying round of the Champions League next month.

The Scottish champions are likely to meet Northern Ireland's Linfield, who have been paired with San Marino's SP La Fiorita in the first round.

"It's going to be a tough," Hayes told BBC Scotland. "There's no easy games in Europe.

"I have a bit of experience playing with Aberdeen there a couple of times where we took our foot off the gas a little bit and got punished. But every game is tough regardless of who we play or where we play.

"Everyone will look forward to playing against Celtic and will raise their game.

"I'm just happy playing in a game where I just finally get a chance to pull this top on. I can't wait to get started."

Republic of Ireland international Hayes has agreed a three-year deal with Celtic following five years with Aberdeen.

Hayes was sold on a move after a 30 second chat with Brendan Rodgers
Hayes was sold on a move after a 30 second chat with Brendan Rodgers

Hayes, who has also played for Leicester and Inverness Caledonian Thistle, began his career at Reading, with Rodgers briefly in charge during his time at the club.

"I was sitting at home waiting all day for the phone call," Hayes explained. "I think it was about six or seven at night when he rang and, honestly, I don't even think I spoke a word for about 30 seconds other than hello and I was sold.

"He's infectious. He's fantastic to work for. It's a long time since I have and I'm looking forward to it but I'd be lying if I didn't say there was a lot of other major factors in wanting to come here. The size of the club, the chance to play out there every week in front of 50-odd thousand, Champions League nights, so many things, when you put together it is the complete package.

"I have full confidence in the manager, I think he can only improve me as a player

"I know I will need to improve and try to hold down a regular place in this team. I'm delighted to finally be here and get the chance to play for this club; it's a challenge I welcome."

Hayes is also hoping his move to a "bigger stage" will aid his international ambitions and revealed that he had spoken to former Celtic manager Martin O'Neill about moving to Parkhead when he was involved with the Republic of Ireland squad recently.

"He asked me every day what was happening, if I was gong to Celtic," he said. "He had a glint in his eye when he was asking me if I was going to go."

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