Norwich City set to finally clinch Gary Hooper signing
- Credit: PA
Celtic hitman Gary Hooper is set to become Norwich City's seventh summer signing in a reported £5.2m deal.
The 25-year-old was reported to have passed a medical on Thursday night and is now poised to finalise personal terms on a four-year contract after opting to reject the chance to join Championship promotion hopefuls QPR.
Chris Hughton confirmed after the club's USA tour finale in Portland earlier in the day that Hooper was firmly on his radar after a protracted chase which started in the January transfer window.
Celtic spurned City's New Year advances, but Hooper has repeatedly rejected a contract extension at Parkhead in a bid to further his career south of the border.
'He is a player that everyone knows we have shown an interest in before,' said Hughton, after the Timbers' defeat. 'At this moment in time all I can say is we are working hard. Very hard. It has been very difficult for me with the eight hour time difference in terms of speaking to our chief scout but I think if you look at the squad and the areas where we have lost players this summer then clearly we are keen to do something in the forward part of the pitch and we have been working towards that.'
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Hooper has plundered 82 goals in a prolific three-year spell at Celtic and former Bhoys' legend Stiliyan Petrov is adamant the striker can be a hit in the Premier League.
'Parkhead is a hard place to leave if you want to make a step up in your career,' said the Bulgarian. 'I was happy because I went to a league where the players were stronger and faster and I learned a lot there. Up in Scotland sometimes you'd look ahead and think, 'This is an easy game and we'll get through it', but in the Premier League you can't think like that. Every game is so hard. Gary will learn a lot if he goes there. He'd find it difficult but, with his ability, he could become one of the top strikers in that division. Gary won't have any problems there.'
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Hooper would join City's club-record capture Ricky van Wolfswinkel in an exciting attacking unit for the new campaign following the departures of Grant Holt, Simeon Jackson and James Vaughan. City failed in an attempt t oentice Ola Toivonen to Norfolk last month but the club continue to be linked with Juve's Fabio Quagliarella.