Former Canaries striker reportedly closing on move to Iran

Gary Hooper, pictured celebrating a goal for Norwich City at Rotherham in April 2015 Picture: Paul C

Gary Hooper, pictured celebrating a goal for Norwich City at Rotherham in April 2015 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The career of former Norwich City striker Gary Hooper looks set to take an unusual turn, with a move to Iran reportedly imminent.

The 31-year-old is a free agent after being released by Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season, following an injury-hit spell with the Championship club.

Iranian and Middle Eastern football writer Sina Saemian highlighted the media reports on Twitter, which follow on from recent reports in England that Hooper's wage demands had seen a move to Bristol City collapse.

The former Celtic, Scunthorpe and Southend poacher teased his move on his Instagram account with photos of him at an airport and then having a coffee with his agent in what appears to be Istanbul, posting a photo of Vodafone Park, the home of Turkish club Besiktas.

Hooper scored a prolific 82 goals in 138 games during a trophy-laden spell with Celtic between 2010 and 2013, before joining Norwich in the Premier League in a deal reportedly worth around £5million.

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He scored 20 goals in 70 matches for City but couldn't prevent relegation in his first season and found himself surplus to requirements under Alex Neil at the start of the 2015-16 season.

Hooper managed 31 goals in 89 games for Wednesday but injuries restricted him to just six appearances last season, leading to his well-paid contract not being renewed.

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The Scottish Sun report that Esteghlal of Tehran is the club the striker is in talks with, who play in the Persian Gulf Pro League, but have not won the title since 2013.

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