Hooper completes Celtic deal and will travel to Braga
Gary Hooper has signed a deal to become a Celtic player and will join the squad for their flight to Portugal.
Gary Hooper has finalised his move to Celtic and has been pitched straight into the squad for the Champions League qualifier against Braga. The striker had travelled to Glasgow yesterday to complete talks and undergo a medical.
The paperwork had not been completed by early on Tuesday morning but Neil Lennon confirmed it has now has been rushed through in time for the player to make the 10am flight to Portugal. Hooper could now find himself making his debut on Wednesday night in the crucial qualifier in Braga.
Celtic are permitted to make one change from the squad which was registered with Uefa on Thursday, provided the player’s registration is completed at least 24 hours before kick-off.
Though Efrain Juarez was unveiled at Celtic Park on Monday, the Mexican international had already been registered before Thursday’s deadline, meaning Hooper can take up the final spot in the squad. Celtic could give all six new players their competitive debut in Portugal as fellow new signings Daryl Murphy, Joe Ledley, Cha Du-Ri and Charlie Mulgrew are all fit to play.
The 22-year old become Neil Lennon’s sixth signing of the summer and is thought to have netted former club Scunthorpe United a transfer fee in the region of £2.4 million.
Hooper, who has scored 50 goals in 95 appearances in the last two seasons, was also being tracked by a number of clubs down south after an impressive season in the Championship. The striker will now be asked to step up a level and help Lennon deliver success in the SPL and in Europe.
The arrival of Hooper, and fellow forward Murphy could increase the chances of at least one Parkhead forward heading through the exit door before the transfer window closes. Georgios Samaras has already been the subject of interest in recent weeks and La Liga side Hercules have confirmed they are still monitoring the Greek striker’s situation.