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Celtic deny stalled talks with Liverpool target Hooper

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has denied talk that contract negotiations with Gary Hooper have broken down.

The 24-year old Hoops goal machine is wanted by the Glasgow club on a new deal but his decision to not yet sign has prompted speculation that he could be on his way to Liverpool in the winter.

The Reds are in need of a striker after the injury to Fabio Borini and the loan of Andy Carroll to West Ham United but Lennon has played down reports that Hooper may soon find himself at Anfield.

"It is speculation," said Lennon. "It wouldn't surprise me if there are a number of clubs in for Gary because of the way he is but I would poo-poo that (Liverpool link).

"We are still in negotiations at the minute and I don't think we are too far away.

"There will be interest in them (Hooper and keeper Fraser Forster) but they are not going anywhere.

"Fraser has signed a new contract and hopefully we are close to getting Gary's signature.

"If there are offers coming in, they will have to pay what we feel the valuation is."

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