NEIL LENNON believes that Gary Hooper will shortly sign a new deal at Celtic.
• Neil Lennon says new contract for Gary Hooper ‘not far away’
• Striker has scored 63 goals in 102 starts at Celtic
The 24-year-old striker has 18 months remaining on his current deal, but has been the source of constant speculation throughout the team’s Champions League run.
However, the Celtic manager believes that a deal could be in the offing. Lennon said: “I would think we can get an agreement pretty soon. I speak to Gary once a week on it and he’s quite comfortable with it.
“I hope to see Peter Lawwell in the next day or so and he’ll come up with a solution. I don’t think we’re far away.”
A formal bid was placed by Southampton for Hooper last January, and there are reports that Southampton manager Nigel Adkins could be planning a second swoop for the player.
Lennon said that he would resist any sale of his top players such as Hooper, and that he would completely reject any deadline-day deals. He said: “If it’s on the final day of the window, it will be too late.
“I wouldn’t have time to replace him and clubs have all month to put bids in.
“It does happen but it will not happen here, not to any of our major players anyway.”