Aberdeen legend Willie Miller insists Jonny Hayes departure would be huge blow – and backs Celtic for the title

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Aberdeen legend Willie Miller admits the departure of Jonny Hayes would be a major blow to the Dons.

Wigan are said to be weighing up a £500,000 move for the winger as former Scotland and Celtic defender Gary Caldwell bids to strengthen his squad ahead of the Latics’ return to the English Championship.

Former Dons captain Miller insists the 28-year-old, who was shortlisted for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award, has been the club’s best player in each of the last two campaigns.

williemillerHayes is contracted to Aberdeen until 2018 and Miller is hoping the Pittodrie outfit can fend off any interest.

Miller said: “It wouldn’t be surprising because he has been outstanding over the last two seasons and in particular this season.

“It is just something you have to cope with as Aberdeen manager.

“If the money is right and it suits the club, and the player wants to go then you just have to accept it.

“It would be quite a major blow for them to lose Jonny Hayes because I think he has been Aberdeen’s most outstanding player for the last two seasons.”

Miller, meanwhile, reckons Aberdeen, Hearts and Rangers will all be fighting for second, third and fourth in next season’s Premiership after tipping Celtic to clinch the title under new manager Brendan Rodgers.

Second place Aberdeen eventually finished 15 points adrift of the Hoops last term after managing to keep pace for long spells.

Miller, speaking at a Ladbrokes media event, added: “I think Aberdeen will challenge but whether they are second, third or fourth – I don’t know.

“It depends what Hearts and Rangers do in the close season and for all three it depends what Celtic do because over the last three seasons they have just been ticking over.

“Now they have decided to have a right go at it both at home and in Europe by bringing Brendan Rodgers in.

“He is going to want cash for his own players.  I think they’ll definitely be the title winners again and the other three will be challenging for second, third and fourth.”

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