Aberdeen have officially announced the departure of Jonny Hayes, with the former midfielder now reportedly set on a return to Celtic as a youth coach.

The one-time Ireland internationalist spent a total of nine years at Pittodrie over two spells, firstly in 2012-17 and latterly in 2020-24. During those tenures, the Irishman featured over 350 times, placing him 16th in the club's most-appearances rankings.

Between 2017 and 2020, Hayes also played for Celtic – firstly under Brendan Rodgers and secondly under Neil Lennon – where he made a total of 68 appearances in all competitions.

In doing so, the 36-year-old helped the Parkhead side clinch seven trophies – three Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups.

According to The Sun, Hayes is now on the cusp of returning to Celtic as a youth coach.

It's likely Hayes will fill one of the vacant positions left by outgoing under-18s manager, Stuart McLaren, or Darren O'Dea, who was recently promoted professional player pathway manager at the club.

READ MORE: Ex-Celtic duo 'in frame' for Parkhead coaching return

In a statement shared by Aberdeen, the Pittodrie club confirmed they had offered Hayes a similar senior coaching position, however the Irishman had declined.

Within the same statement, Hayes said: "It’s been a privilege to represent this fantastic Club.

"I’ve been fortunate to have played in many important games, and of course, play my part in delivering a trophy for the fans, who have supported me incredibly throughout the years.

"I’ve always given my best, both on and off the field, and tried to uphold the values of Aberdeen FC.

"I also need to thank the Club for giving me the opportunity to begin my coaching journey within the Youth Academy. The experience has been hugely rewarding seeing the progress, development and success of the Academy as a whole over the last few years.

"Although development is always a priority, being involved with the Under 16’s winning their CAS League last year, along with the current Under 16’s delivering success in the league and cup this year, demonstrates there is some top talent coming through to compliment the successful Under 18’s squad.

"The future is bright for the Club and although I won’t be playing at Pittodrie anymore, I’ll always be a supporter of the Club and City and I wish everyone associated with AFC all the very best going forward."