Lawwell: Hooper could stay

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell believes Gary Hooper could remain at the club next season as he prepares for a busy summer of transfer activity.

Last Updated: 24/04/13 at 14:50 Post Comment

Gary Hooper: Linked with a move away from Celtic but Peter Lawwell says he could

Gary Hooper: Linked with a move away from Celtic but Peter Lawwell says he could

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Striker Hooper has played a key role in helping Celtic retain the title and reach the Scottish Cup final this term, and manager Neil Lennon declared at the weekend that he was desperate to keep the former Scunthorpe man.

A number of bids from Norwich City were rejected in January and there is expected to be further Premier League interest when the transfer window reopens, but Lawwell hopes he will stay.

"Gary has a year and you never know," Lawwell said. "A lot has to do with the player and what he wants to do but there are three parties.

"There's us, the player and then there is also what is there for the player. If there is a possibility the kid wants to stay and that is Neil's gut feeling, who knows?

"We know where we are, I'm sure the player knows where he is, but what we don't have is the third leg to all of that."

Lawwell is also planning to hold talks regarding contract extensions with star trio Georgios Samaras, Joe Ledley and Anthony Stokes.

"Sami has a year, Stokesy has a year, Joe has a year, we understand that," Lawwell said.

Celtic are already starting to think about strengthening their squad for next season and have drawn up a list of possible targets, although Lawwell accepts that it will be difficult to bring in many players before the UEFA Champions League qualifiers in July.

Lawwell added: "The ideal situation is to have all business done before European qualifiers but recent years tells you the transfer market condenses into two weeks at the end of August unless there are Bosmans you can get early.

"Neil knows what he wants, the positions he wants and we have options for each of those positions.

"But stability is vital and I don't see wholesale changes being made by any manner of means."

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