Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Celtic hope Hooper will stay at Parkhead

Norwich have had a bid for Gary Hooper turned down

Joe Ledley is not surprised about the growing speculation surrounding Gary Hooper but hopes his Celtic team mate resists the temptation to try pastures new.



After watching his English striker grab a double in the 4-1 Clydesdale Premier League win over Hearts at Parkhead on Saturday to take his tally to 20 for the season, Celtic boss Neil Lennon reiterated that Hooper will not be moving anywhere unless the price is right.

The Northern Irishman has already rejected an offer, reported to be about £5m, from Norwich, but is bracing himself for the Canaries to make another bid before the transfer window closes.

And Ledley said: “Gary is one of our main players, he links up play and scores goals so hopefully we can keep him.

“Everyone will want to sign him because of what he has done but hopefully he is happy and will stay here for a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if more bids came in, he is a talent and a goalscorer and he showed that yesterday.

“But the players, management and fans want him to stay.”

It looked ominous for Hearts when Hooper opened the scoring from an Adam Matthews cross in the second minute.

Georgios Samaras added a second 10 minutes later but after Jason Holt pulled a goal back in the 68th minute there was a nervy spell for the home side until Hooper grabbed a third five minutes from time, before substitute Lassad Nouioui made it four in added time to maintain Celtic's nine-point lead over Inverness.

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