Neil Lennon is desperate to keep Gary Hooper at Celtic next season
21 April 2013 05:02
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Neil Lennon said he would do everything he could to keep Gary Hooper at Celtic after his brace in the 4-1 title-clinching win over Inverness.
Hooper opened the scoring at Parkhead after a goalless first half and notched his second after a Joe Ledley strike sparked the celebrations.
However, the former Scunthorpe striker was non-committal when asked after the match if he would still be with the Hoops next term, saying only "we'll see".
But Lennon says he has already asked the Celtic board to meet his leading goalscorer's demands and hopes there is a chance he will stay.
"Yes, that's just my feeling," Lennon said. "I have made my submissions to the board regarding Gary.
"I haven't really spoken to his agent lately at length but I would like to keep Gary here because he is such an important player.
"Goalscorers are at a premium, he is only 24 and has got 28 goals this season, 18 in the league.
"He is two short of having 20-plus goals in the league for the third consecutive season which shows what an important, pivotal player he has been.
"We don't want to break the wage structure because one thing that is important is team spirit.
"These players, who are not on huge money, have raised the bar here over the last couple of years but we will do what we can to keep him."