Celtic survive transfer window frenzy as Neil Lennon keeps his big guns

NEIL LENNON today celebrated surviving the transfer window without losing any of his big guns.

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  • Striker Gary Hooper has a contract offer on the table from Celtic
    Striker Gary Hooper has a contract offer on the table from Celtic
  • Striker Gary Hooper has a contract offer on the table from Celtic

Despite intense speculation before and during the window that Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama would be wrenched from their grasp, the Hoops have emerged intact.

Only Rabiu Ibrahim, Lubos Kamenar and Mo Bangura were allowed to leave the club, while Tom Rogic and Rami Gershon, on loan, were added to the squad.

The Hoops also tied up Swedish keeper Viktor Noring on loan until the end of the season.

Despite intense speculation before and during the window that Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama would be wrenched from their grasp, the Hoops have emerged intact.

Only Rabiu Ibrahim, Lubos Kamenar and Mo Bangura were allowed to leave the club, while Tom Rogic and Rami Gershon, on loan, were added to the squad.

The Hoops were also working on tying up Swedish keeper, Viktor Noring, on loan until the end of the season.

Wolves confirmed there was late interest from Celtic in acquiring striker, Kevin Doyle, but this never got off the ground as it became clear Hooper was staying.

Norwich finally accepted defeat in their quest to land the Englishman after their fourth bid for the 24 year-old – who has hit 23 goals this season – was rejected.

Like Wanyama, the hitman has a contract offer on the table from his present employers. And, despite reports this would be removed today, it could stay available a while longer.

But as one transfer window closes, speculation has already begun that both stars will be on their way in the summer.

Despite the conjecture, Lennon is pleased at how Hooper and Wanyama have continued to play well throughout the process.

He said: "There is always uncertainty, but we remained consistent that we didn't want to sell them and we wanted them here.

"Now, that may change in the summer. You don't want to stop their progression, if they feel it's the right move for them, and we feel it's the right move for them, and the money is right.

"But they are happy. They are in a good side and are growing together. They have made their names here."

If he does not sign the new contract offered by Celtic in October, Hooper will have just one year left on his current deal by the time the window re-opens in the summer.

Wanyama is tied down for another year after that. But Celtic are confident it is no gamble to hold on to them and that their value will only rise if they perform well in the next few months – especially in the Champions League against Juventus.

Lennon reckons that should be a huge motivation for all of his players, and he said: "They will never get a better occasion than that in which to play.

"Well, they may. Some of them may go on to play in a European final. I don't know.

"But for the early part of their career, to have this game in front of them is something very special."

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