Neil Lennon expressed his gratitude to the Celtic board after they resisted several big money bids from Norwich for Gary Hooper, Sky Sports reports.

Canaries boss Chris Hughton was rebuffed five times during the January transfer window as he sought to bring Hooper to Carrow Road with reports suggesting his final offer was in the region of £9.5million.

That would have represented a significant return on the £2.4m the SPL champions paid to Scunthorpe for the prolific 25-year-old in July 2010 as Parkhead chiefs stubbornly refused to budge with Lennon delighted to retain his 23-goal top scorer for now.

“I think we made our stance pretty clear,” the Bhoys manager said.

“I don’t think a lot of people believed us but we want to keep this team together for the foreseeable future.

“Gary is a huge part of that and I’m very grateful to the board for standing by our decision on that.

“We look forward to a great second half to the season now.”

Hooper is known to be frustrated that he is still waiting for his first England cap despite his impressive goalscoring form North of the border and could leave Celtic in the summer for a Premier League club to enhance his international prospects.

His contract expires in 18-months and the offer of an extension has been turned down. The Scottish club believe they can get a better price for him when the season ends and could move for Kevin Doyle as a replacement after having a Deadline Day approach rejected.

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  • Graham
    2 years ago

    He’ll be worth even less in the summer if as he can leave for free soon after, the best approach would have been to loan him to Norwich as he then get’s a chance to prove himself in the EPL for free which would have raised his value by a couple of million. Norwich have also said they never offered the £9.2 Million reported, so I’m sure some of that has been made up either by his agent or Celtic or the media, who knows.

    Reply
  • Scott Mackenzie
    2 years ago

    Graham, you must be joking or have some sort of mental issue? as if celtic who are about to play juventus in the last 16 of the champions league are going to loan their most lethal striker, (proven at that level and with 18 months left on his contract), to a team fighting relegation, and for free no less – get real.

    Reply
    • Paddy
      2 years ago

      Mr MacKenzie, Just explain to me where exactly Mr Hooper will be after the Juventus games where the Champions league has gone? What level of football will Hooper be looking to playing after that? Celtic are a massive team with fantastic fantastic support. But they work their trade in a league that doesn’t realistic stretch them. I have tremendous respect for Celtic as a team but Hooper needs to be improving week in and week out, not just in the Champions league.

      Reply
  • Graham
    2 years ago

    Scott, I know what you are saying is what most people will be feeling and is mostly true, but I was just taking a longer term view of this. The player is refusing a new contract and making noises to indicate he is looking to be away, so Celtic should be ready to make the best out of the situation. I’m mearly exploring option to get the best from the situation.
    Weather you like it or not it is true that any player coming towards the end of a contract has a declining value, the situation becomes a buyers market.
    It is also true that any player who plays some games in the EPL will incline his value.
    Taking all that into consideration, Celtic should now be looking to increase his value and sell in the summer. The next window after that will be to late so he has to either sign a new contract (no likely) or be sold in the summer. His true value is currently about £4 million tops in the summer his value will be less. but if he played in the EPL his summer value would be more like £6 to £8 million. Put that up against two games against Juventus.

    Reply
  • Salvador
    2 years ago

    Graham, the top scoring English striker in Europe this season, on loan to Norwich ????? Did you forget to take your medication this morning ?

    Reply
  • Graham
    2 years ago

    you are looking at this in an us and them view, because you think Celtic are bigger than Norwich. That is not the point, Hooper is an asset of Celtic football club and the value of that asset is decreasing. In just three transfer windows that asset will be gone and worthless to Celtic football club, so the club should be looking at managing that assets value to the best advantage of the club. If you took him out of the team Celtic would probably still be looking forward to facing Juventus because the squad has the talent. Running a football club is more about head than heart sometimes and this was one of those times.

    Reply
  • salvador
    2 years ago

    Graham, You are the one looking at this as a them and us situation.. Its the concept of parity you don’t seem to understand.As in Hooper only plays at lowly SPL Celtic so a LOAN move to Norwich is a good idea.
    Look at the enormous amounts journeymen players are transferred for in the EPL and then think again, the top scoring English player in Europe this season.

    Reply
  • mikehawthorn1
    2 years ago

    FAR too often English teams attempt to ‘pillage’ our trusted stars as they are only plying their trade in the ‘lowly spl’. It is Insulting in the extreme given their Arrogance when one considers the £35 million paid for that DUMPLING
    Andy Carrol…….I rest my case

    Reply