Lennon expects Hooper to stay at Celtic

Last updated : 23 December 2012 By Iron-Bru

Hooper has 18 months left on his contract with the Scottish Premier League champions, and turned down an extension earlier this year.

But with the 24-year-old's goals helping Celtic through to the knockout stages of the Champions League - earning the Iron £250,000 as part of the deal that took him to Glasgow - Lennon is increasingly hopeful a new contract will be agreed.

"“There’s been a tentative phone call from one club and it went away again.  That’s been it," said Lennon, when asked about interest in the player.

“From the soundbites I’ve been getting from Gary, he’s delighted with things and happy to stay here.”

He notched twice on Saturday as the Hoops smashed Ross County 4-0 at Parkhead to strengthen their hold on the SPL title, which already looks in the bag.

It took his tally to 66 goals in 103 starts for the club, since joining from Scunthorpe in July 2010.

"This week was the best he has looked in training. He looks lean and hungry and I fancied him to score," added Lennon.

"His all-round game was top-class and I think he will only get better. He is an intelligent player.

"There are things you can’t coach and the thing I have liked about him since the day I first saw him is his football intelligence."

Although a confidentiality agreement means the Iron cannot confirm the details of the transfer that took Hooper to Glasgow, there is believed to be a sell-on clause should Celtic sell him on at a profit.