Celtic's Gary Hooper wants to stay despite Saints bids

Gary Hooper insists that he wants to remain with Celtic, despite Southampton being set to make a further bid for the English striker.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has revealed that the club have rejected "a couple of offers" for the 23-year-old and would "continue to do that".

And Hooper told Celtic's website: "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."

Hooper scored his 16th goal of the season after returning from a groin injury on Saturday in the Scottish Premier League leaders' 2-1 win over Dundee United.

"I'm back playing now and scored at the weekend," he said. "It was good to be back in the team.

"I'm just focusing on football - training, playing and scoring goals - that's my job."

Saints boss Nigel Adkins, who managed Hooper at his previous club, Scunthorpe United, has revealed his desire to sign a new striker for the Championship leaders.

"Gary is an exceptionally good footballer who I know from before," Adkins told BBC Radio Solent.

"I'd like to think we've got another player joining us this week.

"We'll try and do our talking in quiet. Our endeavour is to bring another striker into the football club.

"Obviously, if Neil is going to say another club has come in with a bid, then I am not going to go against what another manager is saying."

Lennon maintains that it would take "silly money" to prise any of his players away from Celtic Park.

"We haven't had an offer that's even tempted us," added the Celtic boss. "We don't want to sell our best players, particularly at this stage of this season.

"I don't want to lose Gary anyway, full stop. I don't think the speculation will bother him one bit in the slightest. He's happy here.

"He's enjoying his football and he's very focused on the team."

Meanwhile, Lennon continues his own pursuit of another striker.

"We're trying to whittle it down a bit to a number of options," he said. "But we're no further down the line on that one yet."

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