• MySTV

Celtic v Hearts squad news and preview: Hooper staying put - Lennon

Read a full preview of the SPL game between Celtic and Hearts at Parkhead.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon arrives for training as he prepares his team for the visit of Hearts in the SPL.
SNS Group

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has told Gary Hooper he is going nowhere this month after the club rejected an offer from Norwich ahead of their clash with Hearts.

Lennon reluctantly confirmed the development after reports emerged in England of a £5million offer from the Barclays Premier League club.

Hooper has so far resisted persistent attempts by Celtic to extend his contract beyond the end of next season but the club are in no hurry to cash in on the prolific forward as they chase four trophies, including the Champions League.

Lennon had yet to talk directly to Hooper when he confirmed the bid had been rejected but made his position clear at the pre-match media conference on Friday ahead of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League visit of Hearts.

"Our case is simple - you are not going," Lennon said. "You have got a year and a half on your contract so you're a Celtic player."

"The bid has been rejected. We had discussions with his representatives this morning and we are waiting to hear back from them.

"We are in a good position. We don't want to sell. We feel we have a lot to look forward to in the second half of the season.

"We don't want any of our top players to go and Gary comes into that bracket."

Israeli defender Rami Gershon could make his Celtic debut but Australian midfielder Tomas Rogic is still awaiting a work permit.

Wingers James Forrest (hamstring) and Paddy McCourt (knock) and defender Efe Ambrose, who is on African Nations Cup duty with Nigeria, are the only players missing.

Anthony Stokes is in the squad after recovering from an ankle injury but is unlikely to feature.

Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald admits the team would benefit from the addition of experienced players - but he has no fears over the young players set to supplement the squad at Celtic Park.

Hearts saw their transfer embargo lifted by the Scottish Premier League on Thursday after players were paid on time 24 hours earlier, but restrictions remain on who they can sign following a failure to pay outstanding bonus money.

Manager John McGlynn, who has seen Australia international Ryan McGowan and back-up goalkeeper Peter Enckelman depart this month, can only sign under-21 players, who are cheaper than the departing player, on a one-in, one-out basis.

McGlynn faces further, temporary problems at Parkhead with captain Marius Zaliukas and midfielder Ryan Stevenson, suspended.

Scott Robinson is out injured and fellow midfielder Mehdi Taouil is doubtful with a foot problem, while full-backs Jamie Hamill and Danny Grainger remain long-term absentees with knee injuries.

MacDonald said: "It's obviously a very difficult situation. We have got a young squad and the conditions are it's young players we are going to bring in.

"I think the club could be doing with an experienced player or two. That's just the way it is. "We have still got a good squad, it's a good crop of young players we have here."

And the 26-year-old is not concerned by the reshuffle needed in defence, although Andy Webster should return from injury.

"It's not a problem," he said. "The Hibs game, Dylan (McGowan) came in at centre-back and Darren Barr played right-back and kept a clean sheet. We just get on with our job.

"The boys we have got to fill in are more than capable on their day. I have full confidence in them and there is no worry.

"The young boys who have come in have done really well. Obviously results haven't been as good as we would have liked but I think performances generally have been pretty good and we have been unfortunate.

"Maybe that's where experience counts, sometimes we have maybe not had the experience to hold out in games."

Provisional Celtic squad: Forster, Matthews, Lustig, Izaguirre, Wilson, Rogne, Mulgrew, Brown, Kayal, Wanyama, Hooper, Samaras, Lassad, Commons, Zaluska, McGeouch, Watt, Gershon, Stokes.

Provisional Hearts squad: MacDonald, Webster, McHattie, Paterson, McGowan, Barr, Holt, Taouil, Novikovas, Sutton, Driver, Walker, King, Ridgers, G Smith, Carrick, Prychynenko, Ridgers.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.