Celtic confirm departure of Jozo Simunovic & Jonny Hayes – BBC Sport

Hayes scores his last goal for Celtic in Old Firm victory over Rangers

Manager Neil Lennon has paid tribute to Jozo Simunovic and Jonny Hayes after Celtic confirmed the pair’s departure.

The Scottish champions have opted not to take the option of a further year on Simunovic’s contract, while Hayes’ deal expires on Sunday.

Croatian centre-back Simunovic, 25, played 125 games in his five-year spell and Republic of Ireland winger Hayes made 68 appearances in three seasons.

“Both leave Celtic as nine-in-a-row champions,” said Lennon.

“It’s an achievement they richly deserve and something I know they will cherish dearly.

“I would like to sincerely thank both Jozo and Jonny, brilliant lads who have given their all to Celtic over a number of years.”

Hayes posted a farewell message on Instagram reflecting on his “enjoyable journey” at Celtic Park.

“Football at times brings tough decisions,” Hayes wrote.

“[From] breaking a leg to the highs of winning a treble, the last three years have been an enjoyable journey, in which I’ve worked under some terrific staff and shared a dressing room with some unbelievable guys.”

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