David McNally rules out Grant Holt swap option as Celtic reject Norwich City’s improved bid for Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper celebrates after opening the scoring for Celtic against Dundee United on Tuesday night. Hooper added a second goal later on as Celtic won 4-0 - showing why Neil Lennon is desperate to keep him. Gary Hooper celebrates after opening the scoring for Celtic against Dundee United on Tuesday night. Hooper added a second goal later on as Celtic won 4-0 - showing why Neil Lennon is desperate to keep him.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
11:12 AM

Chief executive David McNally has ruled out the prospect of Grant Holt being used to help Norwich City land Celtic striker Gary Hooper – or any other player.

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Celtic confirmed last night that they have rejected a second Canaries offer for Hooper, who is also reported as being eyed by City’s next two Premier League opponents.

The rejection of an improved bid – which Celtic manager Neil Lennon said was “nowhere near” the £6m being touted –– followed reports that City captain Holt could be on his way to Glasgow as part of a cash-plus-player deal.

Lennon insisted that he expects Hooper, who has rejected an improved contract offer, to still be at Parkhead when the transfer window closes.

And McNally laid to rest suggestions that Holt, or indeed any of the club’s top stars, would be used as makeweights to force through a deal.

“In response to (lots) of earlier messages, none of our senior players are for sale and won’t be included in any player swaps,” was his definitive tweet yesterday.

Norwich remain the only club with confirmed bids on the table for Celtic’s prolific 24-year-old, with their first £5m offering rejected over the weekend by the Scottish League champions.

But reports in London claim both Tottenham and Queens Parks Rangers are considering bids of their own.

Coincidentally, Spurs visit Carrow Road next Wednesday – little more than 24 hours before the transfer window closes – while City travel to Loftus Road the following Saturday.

It remains to be seen how serious either club is about their interest, while Liverpool have also been touted as long-time admirers of the striker.

Tottenham already have history with Hooper, having turned him away after a 20-minute trial at the age of 14 – something Hooper admitted has motivated him during his career.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas hopes to increase his strike options with a £10m bid touted for the man who cost Celtic £2.4m from Scunthorpe in 2010.

Should Spurs make such an offer, it would be hard to envisage the Canaries being able to compete. However, Hooper appears to be intent on leaving Celtic sooner or later.

Lennon revealed last night that Hooper’s latest contract offer had been on the table since October, and that the bid from Norwich was slightly improved on one submitted late last week.

“We have had an improved offer, if you want to call it an improved offer, from Norwich that’s been turned down automatically,” he said.

“It was nowhere near six million” he added. “It was completely rejected and even if it was six million it would be completely rejected.”

When asked about reports that Hooper, who has 18 months left on his current contract, had rejected the club’s latest offer, Lennon said: “It’s not the latest offer because we made it two or three months ago.

“I’m disappointed again that these things have come out in public. I’m not too sure where they are coming from but it’s certainly not us. It’s as you were. He didn’t like the look of the contract two or three months ago and nothing has changed.

“We feel it’s a very good offer. It would put him in the top two or three highest-paid players at the club. I’m sure he wants to be the highest paid but you can’t always get what you want.”

Celtic paid Scunthorpe just £2million for Hooper in the summer of 2010, but Lennon claims he cannot see chief executive Peter Lawwell and the board cashing in on the 24-year-old this month.

“Not as far as I can see it,” Lennon said. “We are very solid on that, myself, the backroom staff, Peter and the board.”

Lennon, who picked Hooper in the starting line-up for his side’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Dundee United last night and saw him score twice in a 4-0 win, added: “Come February 1, the contract offer will be withdrawn.

“They have got a lot to think about, Gary and his representatives.

“If he doesn’t want to sign the contract, that’s his decision. It wouldn’t be my advice, but it’s Gary’s decision, or his representative’s decision. We are quite comfortable with that and we respect that.

“We made this offer in October and all of a sudden it has been rejected. It’s no coincidence that it’s the last 10 days of the (transfer) window, but we are quite comfortable with the whole situation.

“I’m pretty sure Gary will be a Celtic player come February 1. We have had private chats and he is really happy here. He wants to stay, he wants to see out the season, and we will have a look at the situation then.”

As for City’s other striker target, it is thought Sunderland remain the most likely destination for Swansea’s Danny Graham.

The Black Cats and Norwich have both submitted bids for the 27-year-old, while the Swans’ pursuit of Stoke forward Kenwyne Jones could trigger Graham’s release – possibly once Swansea have dealt with their much anticipated League Cup semi-final second leg with Chelsea tonight. Either way, Swansea captain Ashley Williams does not want the striker to go anywhere.

“We definitely don’t want to see him leave and I think if you asked any player here they would say the same thing,” he said. “He is going to make the decision on whether he stays or goes. He has to make the right decision for himself and his family and his situation. Obviously, we’re telling him we want him to stay, but it’s his decision whether he stays and we will back him whatever he chooses.”

It remains all quiet on the Lee Camp front, after the goalkeeper and free agent was due to undergo a medical on Monday ahead of a proposed move to City for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, freshly departed Simon Lappin is said to be the remaining target on the wish list of Cardiff manager and former Canaries defender Malky Mackay.

Lappin spent a month on loan at the Welsh club earlier in the season and departed Carrow Road by mutual consent on Monday, leaving the 29-year-old free to find a new club.

“If we see something that can give us some defensive cover then we will do something, but if we don’t I won’t,” added Mackay.

54 comments

  • if there is any truth at all in the idea that Holt was offered up in a deal for Hooper i feel our relegation is assurred.Its like tearing out norwich's heart as a sacrifice to secure its continued life.Holt is I feel a pragmatist who may not be psychologically affected by this.Unlike me because I would feel well pi**ed off by being offered up as a dispensable commodity and it could well affect my future feeling of commitment Even if we dont secure the services of a goal scoring saviour, at a point in the season our side consisted of the optimum players considering our squad and they did well even against the cream. We need the players to have belief in themselves, Whittaker,Bassong and Turner in defence.Tettey,Pilkington and Johnson keeping the midfield tight.Hoolahan being imaginative wherever that takes him.Elliott Bennett on the right supplying Holt.It is what it is.Its the best we can do and its good enough.

    Report this comment

    dick

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Mad Brewer & Co - just defending "Holty-kebab" demonstrates youre knowledge of premier league footy - Yes he DID score goals in the past, but he doesnt now and is unfit,overweight & not worth his place (unless a return of 4 goals is all you require) Norwich's problems stem from one man - Paul Lambert (a good championship mananger,but useless in the premiership) Under his rein Norwich conceded more goals in the premiership than any side has ever done, though likely to be beat this year by Aston Villa - and who manages them ? The trouble with you Norwich fans is you are prepared to accept mediocrity and fairy stories from delia - When the club has the balls to get involved with premiership football properly, no-one will wish them luck more than i will - but for now look on the brightside, season tickets are cheaper in the championship !!!

    Report this comment

    pubmandave

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I see one of the Houghton crew has showed up.

    Report this comment

    Steady On

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Well said pubmandave, at last a poster who is not wearing yellow & green tinted spectacles just for the sake of wearing them.

    Report this comment

    Warkys_Tash

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • Kansas city, if he clicks his heals together and says theres no place like home is he magically whisked away?

    Report this comment

    MBA Marine

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • holt needs to be on the pitch to score goals and prefrebably in the box,not on the wing!Hes not fit and overweight and couldnt hit a barn door at the moment so lets spend some serious cash on someone who can score whether theyre upfront alone or not!

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • pubmandave please go check the stats for Grant Holt in any recent 90 min game to see how far he runs . Wonder if you can run that far. I know I cant

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Lets face it, the same people that are crtisising Mr Mcnally and Mr Hughton are the same people that call him "Chris Houghton". Clueless, and to be ignored.

    Report this comment

    Steady On

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Signed a reject keeper - looking at Kei Kamara and Jamie Mackie ?? and lets see who Hooper and Graham choose. Looks like Citys sights are falling even quicker than their league position.

    Report this comment

    Laughalot

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • A new troll I see.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • If Holt is an interest to anyone other than the local kebab shop Id be amazed - He's over weight and an embarressment.

    Report this comment

    pubmandave

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Mads, Holty appears in decline, you have to face facts. He ain't getting any younger, do you think a return of 4 PL goals at this point in the season is a decent return? Anyway, the bad news is it doesn't look like Hooper is coming, according to Mr Lennon: Of the Norwich bid, Lennon said: "It wasn't much more than the original offer. It was nowhere near £6m. "It was completely rejected and even if it was £6m it would be completely rejected." You would think McNally might have to sell the family silver, (Ruddy?) to raise the funds for that one to gain any momentum..can't think of any other player on the NCFC books that would raise enough to fund it, can you?

    Report this comment

    Warkys_Tash

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Lets hope Grant Holt comes into form for the rest of the season, there is no new striker looking likely & only 8 days left!

    Report this comment

    Henry

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • What is wrong with some people? We are obvioulsy looking to get a striker or two in! We have confirmed bids for two strikers! How can people say the management are clueless for not getting a striker when they are trying to. These things take time to sort in modern football with all the money grabbing to sort out. In tribute to the late Micheal Winner, Calm down dear!

    Report this comment

    Blackwood1701

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • We seem to have split the followers, supporters, fanatics of the club into groups. There are those who watch the way players perform under their managers instruction, some agreeing, some disagreeing with those instructions, and commenting on what they see. Some enjoy passing an afternoon or evening just watching their club. Others adopt the attitude that the current manager is a god and they must worship him where ever he leads them. Even if it is the knackers yard\! We've had enough of that in the past, when the opportunity to give an opinion in this fashion did not exist!

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Doubt very much if anyone will sign graham with swansea going to wembley this bloke kamara is it ( chris ) got to try and get austin or the lad from palace. Otbc

    Report this comment

    pete22

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • um my guess is warkys tasche is an ipswich fan Just a hunch with a name like wark On another note our fans need to have a look at themselves and also get a grip on how football transfers work because some clearly don't have any idea.

    Report this comment

    Steady On

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • if there is any truth at all in the idea that Holt was offered up in a deal for Hooper i feel our relegation is assurred.Its like tearing out norwich's heart as a sacrifice to secure its continued life.Holt is I feel a pragmatist who may not be psychologically affected by this.Unlike me because I would feel well pi**ed off by being offered up as a dispensable commodity and it could well affect my future feeling of commitment Even if we dont secure the services of a goal scoring saviour, at a point in the season our side consisted of the optimum players considering our squad and they did well even against the cream. We need the players to have belief in themselves, Whittaker,Bassong and Turner in defence.Tettey,Pilkington and Johnson keeping the midfield tight.Hoolahan being imaginative wherever that takes him.Elliott Bennett on the right supplying Holt.It is what it is.Its the best we can do and its good enough.

    Report this comment

    dick

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • If we go after and get Austin from Burnley what chance him getting the no 7 shirt

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Notice Mcnally says non of the senior players are for sale, meaning others are?

    Report this comment

    MBA Marine

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • As stwe pod sydd says does spilling matter. Hughton is our manager, Houghton is a village in Cambridgeshire[ in which I was married in 1977] and I thank all contributors for thier comments about that village.back to spilling , would this Kai Kamara bee a phonetic relation of Chris Kamara?.Hooper though scoring goals for Celtic is a little vertically challenged and I, for one do not see him as a lone striker, but alongside Holt, now there is an exciting thought. Should we fail on Hooper and get Ghraham and pair him with Holt our wide players had better get their crossing boots on. Apologies to Stew

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Before Brewer steps in Steady on, let me say that many people make spilling mistakes. Before putting your fore penneth in , you may find that Mr McNally is spilt with a big N after the little c....... You ignorant or what?

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Come on, Hoots! £9m. Live a little. If you want to remain in the prem then surely it's worth the risk.

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • He would have to ask snodgrass nicely if he is to be a Austin 7

    Report this comment

    MBA Marine

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I bet Celtic spent all of 3 minutes pondering a swap deal for Holt - Celtic have a goal scoring fit player, Norwich have a fat unfit non scoring player, "Deal or No Deal" ?

    Report this comment

    pubmandave

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I have just read that Norwich have bid for Kei Kamara, a striker who plays for Kansas City. The scouting network does have a long arm, after all.

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • wahey we've gone from "Houghton" to that other idiot staple "Grant Holt is overweight" seriously, some people just have no idea...

    Report this comment

    Steady On

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • if there is any truth at all in the idea that Holt was offered up in a deal for Hooper i feel our relegation is assurred.Its like tearing out norwich's heart as a sacrifice to secure its continued life.Holt is I feel a pragmatist who may not be psychologically affected by this.Unlike me because I would feel well pi**ed off by being offered up as a dispensable commodity and it could well affect my future feeling of commitment Even if we dont secure the services of a goal scoring saviour, at a point in the season our side consisted of the optimum players considering our squad and they did well even against the cream. We need the players to have belief in themselves, Whittaker,Bassong and Turner in defence.Tettey,Pilkington and Johnson keeping the midfield tight.Hoolahan being imaginative wherever that takes him.Elliott Bennett on the right supplying Holt.It is what it is.Its the best we can do and its good enough.

    Report this comment

    dick

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Well said, wivenhoe. Holty works his socks off for the team and selflessly plays that lone front man role - as much as he must yearn to be given the support to score goals himself. For the record, I have never referred to NCFC`s manager as "Houghton". Ref this Kansas player, with that "cowboy" pedigree wouldn`t he be better suited to Spurs?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • That`s it, JimBob. However good Hooper might be, he is playing for the only team in the SPL that might warrant a place in the EPL. Every week vs teams of Championship\L1 quality, now that Rangers no longer exist. The few games Celtic get in Europe are rich icing on a pretty stale cake. I`d put just as much faith in Murray & Austin cutting it in the Prem. Let`s have both of them. (Btw, I wonder why no Prem Club spotted Chris Wood, now at Leicester? They could regret it next season if Leicester get promoted. Or pay thro` the nose even if they don`t). Murray could be used as a back-up Holty, or first choice subject to form, with Austin as strike partner. Holty is OK!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I see that Spurs are running the rule over Hooper so you better activate plan B David

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I think that ansers the question !!!

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • De Gea the Man Utd keeper is now called Dracula. Why? He is terrified of crosses!

    Report this comment

    paddycanary

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • 'Pubmandave' certainly sounds as if he is a real specimen of health. Probably as unfit as his grammar and spelling. We are not looking for strikers to replace Grant - he needs some help. The guy works his socks off, especially in the current formation and now he is getting back to fitness, the goals will come again. Austin or Murray for me.

    Report this comment

    Kent Anglian

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Sometimes wonder if Stephen Fry gave up some of his Kingdom to keep the Horse.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Sounds like some kind of release clause in case he's a flop, MBA. Sky Sports reporting this. Just had a look on YouTube. Looks like a good player.

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Leslie-neither Mr Macnasty or Hoooton know's what a plan B is.

    Report this comment

    superfan59

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I haven't heard of Kai Kamara, but I don't like the fact that the first video I come across about him is titled 'Worst miss of the century - Kai Kamara vs LA Galaxy' :-s

    Report this comment

    wisemanthree

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • CovCanary - The scouting team may have a long arm but it seems they need some specs and probably a lesson or two in football.

    Report this comment

    Laughalot

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • No horse trading.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Holt was written off when Gunn first signed him in L1. Under Lambert`s régime he got fit, flourished, top-scored & we got straight back to the Championship. Many said he couldn`t cut it at that level, so he top-scored again and we got to the Prem. Many said he couldn`t cut it at that level so he top-scored again and we finished a respectable 12th (He was 2nd highest English G\S after Rooney). Now he hasn`t got a playmate; he`s been given the role of drudge\workhorse. Grant "Dorian Grey" Holt will come good again!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • In McNally I trust. OTBC

    Report this comment

    ole

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • W-Tash...you obviously aren't an NCFC fan or haven't been watchinglistening. Holt can't score without crosses going in to the box for him to get on to. That doesn't happen with wingers that cut in, that's a fact. 4 goals represents the amount of chances he has had, bot his decline. Don't forget, strikers that come in to the top league later tend to last a bit longer as they haven't burned themselves out for years on end. Holt is not finished, and you have to be a full-on plum to write him off.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I don`t think pmd(Premature Mental Decay) is that new; it`s made a few previous appearances. Good ol` Kent Anglian! Good thinking on the Glenn Murray\Austin thing - GM is almost a Holty clone (see Wikipedia - the EDP journos` Bible). Austin scores for fun. Holty used to score for fun and he still could; he just needs a friend to play with. It`s one thing not having resources but another to squander the ones we already have. Give Holt a pal!!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Given Lambert's fall out with NCFC at the end and the fact Lennon is his mate, anyone think Lennon might prefer to let Hooper go anywhere but Norfolk?

    Report this comment

    Double D

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • W-Tash...you obviously aren't an NCFC fan or haven't been watchinglistening. Holt can't score without crosses going in to the box for him to get on to. That doesn't happen with wingers that cut in, that's a fact. 4 goals represents the amount of chances he has had, bot his decline. Don't forget, strikers that come in to the top league later tend to last a bit longer as they haven't burned themselves out for years on end. Holt is not finished, and you have to be a full-on plum to write him off.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Just heard on sky sports celtic wont look at any bid below 8m come on city offer 9m and c what happens otbc

    Report this comment

    pete22

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • We were told by Hughton that we have a wonderful scouting system that works tirelessly throughout the year to identify new players - not just at transfer window times. It is about time we saw some evidence of its existence. If the board think they can get away without spending during this window, they had better think again - for goodness sake pull your finger out and buy someone!!

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Canr delia sell a few more cookbooks to raise some cash?

    Report this comment

    Henry

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • pubmandave, nouveau troll, why is it so many struggle to spell embarrassment? Is this parapraxis?

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Oh JimBob, I do watch. I can assure you. Last season Norwich had scored the most PL goals via way of headers. Meaning they got lots of crosses in the box, using wingers like Pilkington & Bennett. Maybe, it is Mr Hughton's lack of 'expansive' football that is the real issue here? Looking at the results all round, maybe Mr Lambert and NCFC wish he hadn't have scrambled ashore?

    Report this comment

    Warkys_Tash

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I've said all along I'd rather Murray and Austin came in as it would be far less than it would cost for Hooper...he's a risk playing in such a bad league for so much money. The championship is far better standard than the SPL and both have scored 50 goals between them already. Holt is class, but needs a hand if Hughton won't play wingers to cross (prefers them cutting in). Celtic should be prepared to lose him for free if they don't take our cash by pricing him out fo the market, as Spurs want Wanyama with Sandro out not Hooper.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • And EVERYTHING that nice Mr Lennon says should be taken as absolute gospel.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I have just read that Norwich have bid for Kei Kamara, a striker who plays for Kansas City. The scouting network does have a long arm, after all.

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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