Celtic turn down Hooper bid

Hampshire Chronicle: Norwich have had a bid for Gary Hooper turned down Norwich have had a bid for Gary Hooper turned down

Celtic have rejected an offer from Norwich for striker Gary Hooper.

Manager Neil Lennon confirmed his club had turned down the bid after reports emerged in England. Lennon said: "The bid has been rejected. We had discussions with his representatives this morning and we are waiting to hear back from them."

Celtic have been attempting to persuade the English striker to extend his contract, which expires at the end of next season.

Lennon, whose team face Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League next month, said: "We are in a good position. We don't want to sell, we feel we have a lot to look forward to in the second half of the season. We don't want any of our top players to go and Gary comes into that bracket."

Lennon added: "I've not spoken to him today because I was with his representatives most of the morning, so I'm sure they'll have a discussion about what was said between ourselves later on. He is preparing to start tomorrow.

"The talks were positive and we made our position pretty clear. We left his representatives to it. They will go away and digest it and come back to us."

Essex-born Hooper has scored 68 goals in 114 games since joining Celtic in July 2010 and has been tipped for England honours after helping the club into the knockout stages of Europe's elite competition with two well taken goals against Spartak Moscow.

And Lennon revealed Celtic were not minded to cash in on the 24-year-old, who they bought from Scunthorpe for £2million, despite their failure to tie him down for longer.

"I haven't come to that point yet," he said. "(In the summer) he will only have a year left and he may want to run down his contract. I've not spoken to him about future scenarios.

"For the time being, we have rejected the deal, I'm annoyed it has come out publicly. I'm annoyed with people down the road letting it come out publicly. I can't point any fingers but it has certainly not come out from this end."

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