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Celtic's Neil Lennon chasing new "number one striker"

Lennon chasing new
© PA Photos
Celtic boss Neil Lennon hopes to sign a new first-choice striker this week, regardless of whether Gary Hooper stays in Glasgow.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has declared that he is hoping to sign a new striker this week, regardless of whether Gary Hooper can be convinced to stay with the Scottish champions.

Hooper has been linked with both Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers in recent weeks, but has been included in Celtic's squad for tonight's Champions League qualifier against Cliftonville.

Lennon revealed that he wants to sign his top transfer target by Thursday, ensuring that the Hoops have a new forward eligible for the next round of their Champions League qualifying that is likely to be against Elfsborg.

He told The Scotsman: "We do have a number one striker in mind and, even if Gary stays, we'd still like to bring that player in.

"We're not really making great inroads but we're trying our best. I'd like to have him by Thursday as that would mean he'd be eligible for the Elfsborg game. We're working really hard on that one but it's slow progress at the minute.

"He's someone we hope will score goals on a regular basis, the way Hooper has done in the last couple of years. He's a player we like and a player we've liked for a while."

Celtic hold a 3-0 aggregate lead over Cliftonville ahead of tonight's second leg at Parkhead.

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Celtic forward Gary Hooper celebrates a goal against Dundee United on January 22, 2013
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