Celtic: Gary Hooper and Fraser Forster 'going nowhere'

Celtic's Fraser Forster and Gary Hooper
Celtic's Fraser Forster and Gary Hooper

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says striker Gary Hooper and goalkeeper Fraser Forster are going nowhere despite reports of interest from English clubs.

And he insists that media stories saying talks over a contract extension for Hooper have broken down are untrue.

Lennon thinks a deal is not far from being concluded.

Meanwhile, Lennon said talks are planned with Victor Wanyama's representatives next week about extending the midfielder's contract.

Wanyama's represenatives will meet with Celtic next week
Wanyama's represenatives will meet with Celtic next week

The 21-year-old Kenya international, who has two years of his current deal to run, has also been linked with clubs in England.

"We are hoping to meet his representative again next week," said Lennon. "He has been offered a new contract.

"We don't have to offer him a new contract, but we feel it is a reward for performances he has put in since he came in the door.

"Whether his agent feels it is sufficient, that's what negotiations are all about.

"Hopefully we can come to a conclusion about that as well."

Charlie Mulgrew, Adam Matthews and James Forrest all recently agreed contract extensions as Celtic look to secure their top performers.

However, former Newcastle United goalkeeper Forster's profile in his homeland has increased after he was called up to the England squad for the first time.

Fellow 24-year-old Hooper has been in the limelight after scoring against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League and has also been touted by Lennon for an international call-up.

However, the Celtic boss was unimpressed with reports suggesting that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers might be interested following an injury to Fabio Borini and fellow striker Andy Carroll's loan move to West Ham.

"It is speculation," said Lennon. "It wouldn't surprise me if there are a number of clubs in for Gary because of the way he is, but I would poo-poo that.

"We are still in negotiations at the minute and I don't think we are too far away.

"There will be interest in them, but they are not going anywhere.

"Fraser has signed a new contract and hopefully we are close to getting Gary's signature.

"If there are offers coming in, they will have to pay what we feel the valuation is."