Lennon 'delighted' star men stayed

Neil Lennon is delighted that Celtic held on to Gary Hooper - and their other "main players" - during the transfer window.

Last Updated: 02/02/13 at 14:05 Post Comment

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Neil Lennon revealed his delight that Celtic held on to star striker Gary Hooper in the face of a fourth bid from Norwich on the final day of the transfer window.

The English Premier League outfit had been rebuffed three times before they came back on deadline day with another offer which was again rejected.

For his part, the Hoops boss is hoping to complete the loan signing of Swedish keeper Viktor Noring from Trelleborgs and revealed he has had former Manchester United youngster Kenji Gorre, son of SFA youth coach Dean Gorre, on trial at Lennoxtown for a week.

Lennon said: "I am delighted that we have kept all our main players. We have added Tom Rogic, Rami Gershon and hopefully Viktor - we are just waiting on the paperwork coming through - so it has been a decent window for us.

"There was another bid in (on deadline day, for Hooper), again, an improved offer. I am not going to go into the figures but it was substantial.

"We made our position clear and we stuck to that. I knew what has happening so it wasn't nervy for me.

"It might have been for supporters but there was a lot of rubbish and speculation being bandied about, a lot of nonsense, but I suppose that comes with the fun of it all."

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster will return for the William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers at Stark's Park on Sunday after recovering from a neck injury and winger James Forrest is back from a hamstring injury.

Lennon is hoping that Georgios Samaras and Emilio Izaguirre, who picked up hamstring and knee injuries respectively against Kilmarnock in midweek, will be back for the Champions League last-16 clash with Juventus at Parkhead on February 12.

He said: "They had scans (on Thursday) so we are hoping that they will both be fit for Juventus.

"It is a small tear for Georgios but we are going to be aggressive with his rehabilitation and our medical people, I wouldn't say they were confident, but they think he has a chance of making Juventus and we are hoping Emilio should be okay."

On Gorre, the Hoops boss said: "He has been released by Manchester United so we have had him in for a week to have a look at him.

"He has done okay, he is a winger, 18, and he is a development-type player."


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