Former Celtic favourite Gary Hooper was “considered” as a signing by Bristol City before they realised the striker wanted a long-term contract, a report says.
Bristol Live say that The Robins recently looked at the 31-year-old as a potential short-term replacement for Benik Afobe who tore his ACL in mid September. Hooper has been a free agent since leaving Sheffield Wednesday in the summer, but is said to have demanded a longer contract – something City weren’t keen to offer given his recent injury problems.
The Englishman, who was on around £30,000 per week at Wednesday, underwent groin surgery in November and featured precious little in the remainder of last season.
Celtic were said to be keen on Hooper
In early May, the Scottish Sun reported that Hooper would be on Neil Lennon’s wishlist for the summer transfer window. The latest report on Hooper’s wage and contract demands suggest that the club did the right thing by not pursuing a stunning return for the much adored forward.
Given Hooper’s recent injury record it would not have been sensible for Celtic to offer him a long-term contract. Nor would it have been sensible to make him one of the highest paid players at the club.
At the time it may have felt like bringing Hooper in would make sense. We were effectively playing with just Odsonne Edouard as our main striker for the majority of last season. But now Vakoun Issouf Bayo has emerged, and Leigh Griffiths is slowly getting back to his best.
Hooper was a great player in his time at the club and should always be remembered fondly. But it seems like a bit of a blessing that he’s not returning for a second stint, in all honesty.