Hoops Swoop For Hooper

27 07 2010

Gary Hooper has become the sixth signing in Neil Lennon’s new look Celtic squad. The former Scunthorpe striker has signed for £2.4million just in time to be registered for the Bhoys’ Champions League qualifier against Portuguese side Braga on Wednesday.

Hooper is set to arrive in Glasgow later today before flying out to Portugal with the rest of the squad. Lennon is delighted with the capture although he has admitted that his new signing may not be ready to play against Braga.

“There was just a little bit of paperwork we had to smooth over. I don’t know about playing but he will be in the squad. I was pleased to get him, he has been on our radar for quite a while. I think we have a good player on our hands, his record is very good. It’s not just goals, he can play a little bit as well.”

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Hooper himself was equally delighted and revealed: “Celtic is a massive club and when I knew they were interested they were the only club I wanted to come to. I signed yesterday [Monday] and had a medical last night which finished about eight o’clock. I had to sign a few papers this morning and fax them but that’s it done.”

Hooper joins Joe Ledley, Charlie Mulgrew, Daryl Murphy, Cha Du-Ri and Efrain Juarez as new signings at Celtic Park this summer.

His arrival could mean that Greece star Georgios Samaras’ days at the club are numbered. There is interest from Spanish side Hercules in the former Manchester City striker.

Samaras, capped 37 times for Greece, had rejected the chance to move to Hercules earlier in the summer but sporting director Paquito has not given up hope of landing the striker.

Paquito said: “We still want Samaras, but he has other options too. We are still looking for attacking players.”

Mark Jepson

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