Gary Hooper to Esteghlal move falls through

By Hamish Carton

October 14, 2019

Gary Hooper won’t be signing for Iranian top-flight side Esteghlal FC after his proposed deal collapsed.

The £5million former Celtic forward was widely reported to be close to moving abroad last week. The Scottish Sun reported that the free agent Englishman was close to joining the Tehran side but it now appears that any move is off.

That’s after the Middle Eastern club updated their 36,000 followers on Twitter with the news that an agreement hadn’t been reached.

Failed Esteghlal move may reignite Hooper to Celtic rumours

They say that no agreement could be reached during negotiations with the former Celtic man in Istanbul and they will now pursue other options.

Given that Hooper was a free agent we can only assume that it was some disagreement in personal terms that scuppered the deal.

There had been chat earlier in the summer that Hooper could be in line for a shock return to Glasgow. In early May, prior to Neil Lennon getting the job full-time, the Scottish Sun reported that Hooper was on the Northern Irishman’s wishlist.

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Something clearly stopped any chance of that deal happening although Hooper’s failed move to Iran may reinvigorate rumours. His free agent status means that he could move north of the border at any stage and the club wouldn’t have to wait until January.

Given that we are a little bit lacking in reliable back-up to Odsonne Edouard, some fans may feel that a return for Hooper would make sense. But his recent injury record, and failed move to Iran, suggests that this is one the club shouldn’t even begin to entertain.