Ryan Hedges joins Aberdeen from Barnsley as Ash Taylor returns to Pittodrie

Ryan Hedges (right) in action for Wales
Ryan Hedges (right) earned his third Wales cap in a win over Trinidad & Tobago

Winger Ryan Hedges says he followed the advice of Wales team-mate Danny Ward by agreeing a three-year contract with Aberdeen as he leaves Barnsley.

Hedges rejected a new deal despite his side's promotion to the Championship.

He and Leicester keeper Ward, loaned to Aberdeen from Liverpool in 2015, started for Wales when they beat Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 in March.

"I am quite close with Danny Ward and he didn't have a bad word to say," the 23-year-old told Aberdeen's website.

"He said, if this move ever came about, I should take it with both hands."

Hedges, who can also play up front, became Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes' first close-season acquisition and was quickly followed by compatriot Ash Taylor, the 28-year-old centre-half returning from Northampton Town two years after moving to the English club from Pittodrie.

"Hopefully I can come here and play in a lot of big games, play in cup finals and hopefully have a European run as well," Hedges, who will officially join the Scottish Premiership club when his current contract ends on 1 July, said.

Hedges joined Barnsley in 2017 having failed to make a first-team breakthrough with Swansea City and made 25 appearances as the Tykes finished second in League One behind Luton Town this season.

The winger, who was named man of the match as he earned his third Wales cap in the win over Trinidad & Tobago, is with Ryan Giggs' squad as they prepare in Portugal for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Croatia and Hungary.

Having started his career as a youth with Everton, Northampton-born Hedges first played for Flint Town United and had loan spells from Swansea with Leyton Orient, Stevenage and Yeovil Town before moving to Barnsley.

He becomes the second Tykes player to head to the Scottish top flight this summer, with centre-half Adam Jackson having agreed a deal with Hibernian.

Aberdeen boss McInnes is needing to recruit forward-looking players with loans with Birmingham City for Greg Stewart and Manchester United for James Wilson ending this summer.

Scotland winger Gary Mackay-Steven is out of contract, while veteran utility player Greg Halford has been released.

Taylor, who spent three years at Pittodrie after leaving Tranmere Rovers, has signed a two-year contract having been transfer-listed by Northampton following their 15th-place finish in League Two.

The Cobblers, for whom Taylor played 52 times this season, suffered relegation in his first season with the club.

Taylor said: "When you play for a club like Aberdeen, you never forget the standard of football, the fans, staff and the atmosphere on game day. Delighted to be going back and excited for the future."

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport