Shaun Maloney has ended his playing career to return to Celtic in a coaching role.
Celtic have announced the 34-year-old former Scotland international has taken up a role as a “development coach” with their under-20s side.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes recently resigned himself to defeat in his pursuit of Maloney, who flagged up a fitness concern during summer signing talks with the Dons.
Maloney made 14 appearances for Hull last season but turned down the chance to extend his contract with the Tigers.
The former Aston Villa, Wigan and Chicago Fire midfielder started his career at Celtic Park before returning for a second spell in 2008 after 18 months in the midlands.
Maloney scored 52 goals in 215 appearances for Celtic and netted seven international goals in his 47 Scotland appearances.
He will now join his old Parkhead team-mate John Kennedy on Brendan Rodgers’ back-room staff and the former Scotland defender reckons Maloney is just the man to inspire the next generation of Hoops heroes.
“I think he will bring a lot,” said Kennedy. “He is a guy who brings a wealth of experience in terms of him starting at the club as a young player, moved into the first team and became very successful, then had spells in England and America and won an FA Cup with Wigan, so he has been though a lot.
“He was a model professional, a player who many of our first-team guys would look up to, never mind the younger boys.
“Shaun will be an example for these lads. We have some really good coaches in the academy who have worked really well and done great jobs. But Shaun gives us another voice and is someone who the players can relate to.
“He has been through the process and understands the pressures of coming into a first-team environment as a young player and the transition involved.
“He is someone I’ve known a long time and is a good friend of mine. He has a lot of knowledge on the game. Even as a player, he has been studying the game for a long time.
“When the manager sat down with him he realised that very quickly. He’s very much on the same page as we are in terms of how the game should be played, how we see things moving forward.”