Milne warns Celtic over Hooper fight

25 May 2010 11:54
The Scottish Premier League side Celtic appear to be favourites to sign Gary Hooper if he leaves Scunthorpe this summer, but they have been warned they would struggle to convince him to move north of Hadrian's Wall. Hooper won a host of admirers this season as he scored 20 goals for the Iron, helping them survive in the Championship following promotion from League One. Celtic are the biggest name to have their interest made public - Neil Lennon watched him in action at Glanford Park - while Queens Park Rangers have also been heavily linked and Nigel Clough, the Derby manager, made his interest public apparently as a public relations exercise. The Sun claimed that Hooper has held talks with Celtic, including being given a tour of their Parkhead stadium and training facilities, something Nigel Adkins, the Scunthorpe boss, said he had no knowledge of. Regardless, there appears no doubt that Celtic's interest is genuine and that a bid may only depend on whether Lennon is given the manager's job their on a permanent basis. He ended the season on charge in an interim basis following the sacking of Tony Mowbray. One person with experience of playing in the Scottish Premier League as well as the English leagues is the Iron centre-back Kenny Milne. He has suggested the Hoops would face stiff competition to get him. "I think he is destined for the [English] Premiership. No disrespect to Scottish football but it would be a big signing if Celtic managed to get a hold of him. There are a few big teams down here and there could be a bit of a bidding war for him," he told The Herald. "If Celtic come knocking, you have got to think about it. They are a massive club. If Gary went there it would be a massive move for him but his heart is set on the Premiership, I think. "Billy Sharp and Martin Paterson went to Sheffield United and Burnley for a couple of million from Scunthorpe and the guys that played with them say that Gary is better than those boys. He has a real chance of being a quality player."