Neil Lennon eyes up Billy Sharp for Celtic

Billy Sharp pictured playing for Doncaster Rovers. Picture: Getty
Billy Sharp pictured playing for Doncaster Rovers. Picture: Getty
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NEIL Lennon could move for out-of-favour Southampton striker Billy Sharp as a replacement for Gary Hooper.

Hooper - signed from Scunthorpe for £2.4 million in 2010 - looks likely to exit Parkhead in the near future, with Norwich City and QPR battling for the striker’s signature, and London club West Ham also reportedly interested, according to The Scottish Sun.

Norwich have had a number of bids for the Englishman turned down, but are said to be close to matching Celtic’s valuation of the forward, who has turned down a contract extension with a year left on his current deal.

Hooper has not appeared in any of Celtic’s pre-season matches, which saw them play four and lose four, conceding 13 goals in the process and only scoring three.

The Parkhead side were linked with Sharp in 2007, who has since scored a number of goals for Doncaster and Southampton.

The 27-year-old was loaned to Nottingham Forest last season, where he scored 10 goals in 39 appearances, and it is understood that Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino would be happy for Sharp to leave the club.

Celtic are also keeping tabs on Burnley striker Charlie Austin, whose £4 million move to Hull fell through after he failed a medical last week, and Wolves striker Kevin Doyle, who is looking for a move away from Molineux as the 29-year-old is reportedly unhappy at the thought of playing League One football next season.

Read more on Gary Hooper

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Celtic reject two £4m bids for Hooper