Norwich transfers: Hooper wants to stay at Celtic, insists Matthews
Norwich transfers: Celtic defender Adam Matthews is confident Hoops striker Gary Hooper wants to stay at the SPL champions
Gary Hooper wants to stay at Celtic despite interest from Norwich City, according to Hoops defender Adam Matthews.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon confirmed the Canaries had an offer for Hooper rejected on Friday, with the striker’s future at the club in doubt.
The 24-year-old has just 18 months left on his current deal but Celtic are not willing to cash in on the prolific finisher, who has scored 11 league goals this season.
And Matthews is optimistic Hooper will decide to stay at Parkhead despite the obvious lure of the Premier League.
“We don’t want to sell him, he’s enjoying it here and I think he wants to stay,” Matthews told the Daily Record.
“Everyone is looking forward to Juventus, it’s a massive game.
“Gary himself is looking forward to it, so as far as I know he’s happy to stay and I’m hoping that is the case.”
Matthews also believes Hooper is worth in excess of £5m, which was reported to be Norwich’s offer, with the defender confident the Celtic striker can keep performing despite the transfer speculation.
“In the current market, Gary is worth way more than that [£5m},” added Matthews.
“He showed against Hearts with the goals he scored that all of the talk isn’t going to affect him and he just has to keep it going.
“It’s good publicity he’s getting but as I said I’m sure he’s happy to stay.
“When he first came to the club he was seen as just a goalscorer. But, especially this season, he’s progressed his game to far more than that as he drops into pockets and gets us playing.
“He’s quality as a player and quality as a goalscorer, so when you get someone like him in the box, you are going to get goals.
“He is very down-to-earth and very relaxed. I get on well with him and he’s just one of the lads.”