Gary Hooper Will Remain at Celtic

By J.J. Zucal

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Norwich City‘s attempt to secure Gary Hooper from Celtic has failed after several transfer requests during the last two weeks were rejected.

As the January transfer period entered the final day Thursday, rumors were that the Canaries were preparing a fourth offer to the Scottish Premier League side. Celtic manager Neil Lennon said during the evening no offer had come, and at 9:50 p.m. UK time, 70 minutes before the deadline, chief executive David McNally posted on Twitter: “Not expecting to do any further business today.”

Looking to bolster a front as it seeks to secure its spot in the English Premier League next season, Norwich offered £5 million (about $8 million) to Celtic on Jan. 17. A higher bid, for an undisclosed amount, came on Jan. 21, and a £7 million ($11.1 million) offer was made on Tuesday. All were rejected as Celtic valued Hooper at £8 million ($12.7 million).

During this period, Hooper turned down a new contract with Celtic due to pay issues. Norwich reportedly would have made Hooper its highest paid player at £30,000 ($47,700) a week. Hooper has scored 22 goals for Celtic this season.

Lennon said Thursday night the rumored fourth offer never was made to Celtic.

“Contrary to reports, there have been no fresh bids for Celtic,” said Lennon. “Even if there are, they would be rejected. He is not for sale.”

Hooper was among the key players in Celtic’s surprise qualification for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League. Hooper’s staying will mean he will join the lineup Feb. 12 when Celtic hosts Juventus in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie.

Hooper came to Celtic in 2010 from the English club Scunthorpe United for £2.4 million ($3.8 million).


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