Norwich City look set to sign Celtic striker Gary Hooper as the Scottish club have accepted a bid from the Canaries in the region of £5million after a long pursuit by manager Chris Hughton.
Queen’s Park Rangers also had a bid accepted for the player but Hooper is keen to move back south to the Premier League side after they matched Harry Redknapp’s bid for the player who bagged 82 goals in his three seasons at Celtic Park.
The relegated Rs had been in poll position for the former Southend man but Norwich have matched their offer to Celtic and the player is free to decide where he wants to start next season with the Premier League side believed to be his early preference.
Celtic had hoped to extend Hooper’s contract beyond next summer but the striker has resisted the option after the Glasgow club were approached by a number of clubs from the Premier League about his availability during the January transfer window.
The 25 year old was used as a substitute in Celtic’s 2-0 win over Irish League side Cliftonville on Tuesday evening despite manager Neil Lennon’s initial concerns that he had his thoughts elsewhere due to the QPR and Norwich approaches.
Having finished as The Bhoys top goal scorer in all his three seasons at the club Hooper has been eager to get his chance in the Premier League and is unlikely to choose Redknapp’s side over Norwich despite the former Tottenham Hotspur manager’s overture towards him already this summer.
Redknapp showed his confidence in landing the player yesterday when he said, “It looks like it’s on its way to being done. Negotiations have gone well. He’s a finisher. He’ll score goals in the Championship, I’m absolutely certain of that.
“He’s gone to Celtic, one of the biggest clubs in the world, and he’s scored goals. He’s scored goals in the Champions League.
“He’s in the last year of his contract, so it’s a good deal for everybody. It’s good for Celtic to get the kind of money they are getting and hopefully it will be a great deal for QPR.”
Redknapp’s confidence in the capture of Hooper now looks to be misplaced due to Norwich’s offer today as the player will likely join the Canaries as their seventh signing of the summer.
After a rocky debut season in charge last year Hughton has brought in high calibre signings such as Lazio’s Javier Garrido, Sporting Lisbon’s Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer from FC Twente.