GARY Hooper has been told by Norwich City that there is no chance of him enjoying a reunion with his old manager, Neil Lennon.
The former Celtic striker had been linked with a loan move to Bolton Wanderers to join up with Lennon, who took charge of the struggling English Championship side last week. However, Norwich manager Neil Adams insisted yesterday that he wants Hooper to stay at Carrow Road and help their bid to get back into the English Premier League rather than go to the other end of the table and help Lennon’s new club beat the drop.
Lennon paid £2.2 million to bring Hooper to Parkhead in 2010 from Scunthorpe United and the English striker’s prolific spell with Celtic meant they made a profit when they sold him for £5.5m to Norwich in July 2013. “You do get enquiries and it’s going to happen more and more as we come to January, certainly for taking players on loan,” said Adams. “Gary Hooper, his place is here, he was involved on Saturday. I think he looks sharper now, he looks more lively.
“We know what he can do, he can finish as well as anybody, he’s part of what we need here now. If the phone goes it will be ‘thanks for the enquiry, but I need him here’.”
Hooper scored 82 goals in 147 games under Lennon at Celtic, winning the Scottish Premier League title twice and the Scottish Cup twice but found the net just six times in 32 EPL games as Norwich were relegated from the top flight.
The 26 year old has missed most of the season so far with a calf injury but returned last weekend for the defeat at Fulham which saw the Canaries drop to fourth place.