Ledley hoping Hooper will stay

Joe Ledley but hopes his Celtic team mate Gary Hooper resists the temptation to try pastures new.

Last Updated: 20/01/13 at 13:15 Post Comment

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Gary Hooper: Linked with a move to the P

Gary Hooper: Linked with a move to the P

Joe Ledley is not surprised about the growing speculation surrounding the future of Gary Hooper but hopes his Celtic team mate resists the temptation to try pastures new.

After watching his English striker grab a double in the 4-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over Hearts at Parkhead on Saturday to take his tally to 20 for the season, Celtic boss Neil Lennon reiterated that Hooper will not be moving anywhere unless the price is right.

The Northern Irishman has already rejected an offer, reported to be about £5million, from Norwich, but is bracing himself for the Canaries to make another bid before the transfer window closes.

And Ledley, who is hoping to have finally shrugged off a pelvis problem which had been troubling him recently, said: "Gary is one of our main players, he links up play and scores goals so hopefully we can keep him.

"Everyone will want to sign him because of what he has done but hopefully he is happy and will stay here for a long time.

"I wouldn't be surprised if more bids came in, he is a talent and a goalscorer and he showed that yesterday.

"But the players, management and fans want him to stay.

"He has a year and a half left (on his contract) which is a long time so hopefully he can continue his form and the speculation goes out the window."

The Wales international revealed he has the same problem which bedevilled captain Scott Brown for the first half of the season.

He said: "It is my pelvis, similar to Brownie.

"It depends how I feel. Sometimes when I wake up it is okay, the next day it can be hurting.

"So I just take it day by day.

"We had exactly the same injection and Brownie is flying now so hopefully it can continue with me.

"I have been out for while so it was nice to be back playing and being involved in the squad, and back on a winning side as well."

It looked ominous for Hearts when Hooper opened the scoring from an Adam Matthews cross in the second minute.

Georgios Samaras added a second 10 minutes later but after Jason Holt pulled a goal back in the 68th minute there was a nervy spell for the home side which ended five minutes from time when Hooper grabbed a third.

Substitute Lassad Nouioui, on for Matthews, made it four in added time to maintain Celtic's nine-point lead over Inverness at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Hearts manager John McGlynn is hoping his young players will not be affected too much by the result.

He said: "They last thing they want is to get confidence knocked and the result will do that.

"But young players can be resilient, they can bounce back and that is what we want to do because we have a big Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final next week against Inverness."


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