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Hooper happy to stay at Celtic despite Southampton interest

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Speaking exclusively to the official Celtic website, the Englishman said: “I’m very happy. I’m back playing now and scored at the weekend. It was good to be back in the team.

“I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m a Celtic player and very happy here, winning games for Celtic and we’re two points clear at the top of the league just now. I’m just focusing on football – training, playing and scoring goals – that’s my job.”

Despite this reiteration to stay at Parkhead, Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is reportedly set to make a third bid for the striker, after seeing two previous bids thrown out.

The second bid was reportedly around £4 million for the services of the 23-year-old, but today’s Daily Echo put the third potential bid at an improved £6 million.

However, Adkins may be talking to a brick wall after Celtic manager Neil Lennon stated that he would only consider selling Hooper for £35 million.

Lennon said: “Gary is happy here. He has good feet and is a good finisher. Southampton have been in for him but I don’t want to sell any of my top players. It would have to be top dollar for guys such as Gary, Ki Sung-Yeung, Beram Kayal, Emilio Izaguirre and James Forrest.

“But if I had to put a price on Gary’s head then it would be £35million. Even if we did receive a knock-out price for Gary, would we be able to replace him. Trust me, goalscorers of his calibre are not easy to find.”

Meanwhile contract talks between the Englishman and Celtic have been put on the backburner until the summer. Lennon added: “He is on a decent contract here, and, if things go well, we will look at that in the summer. We just want Gary to concentrate now on his football, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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