Victor Wanyama is on the way out at Celtic and off to the Premier League, but it’s not all bad news for Bhoys fans as Gary Hooper prepares to commit his future to the club.
Southampton has renewed their interest in the Kenyan star Wanyama as Celtic prepare for the new season at a European training camp.
Manager Neil Lennon confirmed again after Saturday’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Romanian side Cluj that he is resigned to losing Wanyama in the wake of fresh interest from Southampton.
But English striker Hooper, at least, is open to the idea of a new contract with the Scottish champions despite interest from a host of Premier League clubs including Norwich City and Hull who have both failed with recent bids.
“I want to beat my tally from last season, that’s the aim because I’ve done it every season. I also have to get 20 or more league goals because I didn’t get it just there, I only got 19,” Hooper said.
“I want to play in the Champions League again, get into the group stages and get that feeling again. I know I wasn’t playing in the game against Barcelona but it was still amazing.
“We also want to retain the title as obviously the league is still our priority.”
Wanyama was close to a deal last week when Celtic agreed to a $15 million bid from Southampton, but the player was unable to agree personal terms with the Saints.
Cardiff City then tried to buy the midfielder before they too claimed his personal demands were too high.
Speaking ahead of another friendly at their training camp in Austria, against Greuther Furth, Lennon admitted to confusion all round at Wanyama’s next move.
“I had a chat with Victor and he’s a wee bit confused but what we gather is that Southampton have re-ignited their interest,” Lennon said.
“They’ve shown an interest again and the bid is there. It’s all about the negotiations between Saints and the agent now. I’d imagine that might get the ball rolling again.
“I’ve only seen Victor for a couple of days but he trained with the rest of the squad who didn’t play against Cluj. If nothing materializes, he’ll play some of the friendly game against Greuther Furth.”