Rooney’s Hayes thoughts and shipping out of Pittodrie
High wages but slimmer hope of silverware and European slot
The head or the heart? Aberdeen midfielder Jonny Hayes is a wanted man as the January transfer window starts to gain momentum, with Cardiff City the first to turn admiring glances into an offer of £500,000.
Must try harder was the response from the Dons.
No figure has been set for the Irishman’s signature but others are also watching on from afar and the likelihood of escalating offers is increasing.
It’s the January window and increasingly anxious owners and managers will go to any lengths to achieve their ambitions.
Dons attacker Adam Rooney began his career with Stoke City when the Potteries club was in the lower reaches of English football, but earned a lucrative return south when his goals for Caley Thistle saw him take the road to Birmingham City following the Blues’ relegation from the top flight.
The two Irish players are sharing a room in Dubai and Rooney believes there will be twists and turns in this tale before the window closes, with a move south for the 29-year-old Hayes not a foregone conclusion. Yet.
Rooney said: “He doesn’t tell me much about what’s going on.
“Everyone knows how important Jonny is to the club. I don’t know what is happening with him but I hope he doesn’t go. I’m sure Jonny isn’t desperate to get away.
“For a long time it has been myself, Jonny and Niall (McGinn) playing up front. We have a good connection. I knew Jonny from when we were at Inverness and Niall is a great man to play with.
“We have a good understanding and they are very important players for the team.
“If something does happen then I am sure the manager will be working hard to replace and even try to improve the squad.”
Scottish Premiership players can easily quadruple their wages with a move to the second tier in England but, having tasted life in lower leagues with the likes of Yeovil, Chesterfield, Bury, Swindon and Oldham, Rooney knows it is not all honey and chocolates.
McGinn, who is out of contract at the end of the season, will test the market in England before making any decision, with Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes potentially having to replace two of his best three attacking players.
Rooney said: “The decision about a move has to be taken carefully. There are thoughts about life away from the football. Jonny has a young family and players need to feel settled.
“The Championship is a good standard of football. If it were a move to a Premier League club it would be a no-brainer, but no one wants to be struggling against relegation and League 1 can be a tough league.
“Players have to take so many things into account. There is a really good set of lads at Aberdeen. We all get on and that’s probably one of the reasons he has performed so well for the club.
“Whatever he does I will wish him all the best. He doesn’t owe anyone anything and has done very well for Aberdeen.”
The Dons will complete their stay in Dubai with a match against Uzbek side Bunyodkor tomorrow.
Then it’s back to the challenge of winning the Scottish Cup and finishing second in the league behind champions-elect Celtic.
The memories of the 2014 League Cup win linger for Rooney, who believes the realistic prospect of more silverware will be preying on Hayes’ mind.
He added: “We aim to be challenging for cups every year and playing in
“Away from the football, Jonny has a young family and players need to feel settled”
SAFE HARBOUR: Adam Rooney is enjoying the benefits of life at Pittodrie after his spell in the English Championship and, right, he steps to it during another Dubai training session in the sun
Peter Pawlett and Mark Reynolds jump to it
Graeme Shinnie and Andrew Considine