Hooper nearing QPR switch

  • Last Updated: July 25 2013, 10:59 BST

QPR manager Harry Redknapp does not expect to encounter any late hitches after agreeing a deal to sign striker Gary Hooper from Scottish champions Celtic.

Hooper: Expected to make the move to Loftus Road
Hooper: Expected to make the move to Loftus Road

Redknapp believes 25-year-old Hooper can fire QPR to promotion after the disappointment of last season's relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

Hooper has netted 82 goals in three years for Celtic and came off the bench as Celtic eased into the third qualifying round of the Champions League at the expense of Cliftonville on Tuesday night.

Redknapp told BBC Radio Scotland: "It looks like it's on its way to being done. Negotiations have gone well.

"He's a finisher. He'll score goals in the Championship; I'm absolutely certain of that.

"He's gone to Celtic; one of the biggest clubs in the world and he's scored goals. He's scored goals in the Champions League.

"He's in the last year of his contract, so it's a good deal for everybody. It's good for Celtic to get the kind of money they are getting and hopefully it will be a great deal for QPR.

"If he can come here and get 25 goals next season, then we will have a real chance of getting out of the division.

"I think Gary is capable of reaching that sort of target.

"We're going to need two strikers and I think they are going to have to weigh in with 50 goals."

Details of the fee have not been disclosed by either club. Hooper cost Celtic £2.4million when he joined from Scunthorpe in 2010, and was the subject of interest from Norwich in January.

Former Celtic captain Stiliyan Petrov is confident the Scottish champions would be able to cope without the star striker.

Petrov is backing manager Neil Lennon to attract a suitable replacement should the deal go through.

Petrov said: "As long as Celtic get enough money, and they are happy with that and the player is happy, I don't think it will be a problem.

"Celtic always attract good players and, if he goes, there will be somebody else who will come in."

Celtic reached the last 16 of the Champions League last year and Petrov knows the knockout stages will be the aim again this time around. However, with Elfsborg next in the third qualifying round, he says simply booking a place in the group stages of the competition must be seen as success.

Petrov said: "It's very important, as a club and financially, to make the group stages but it's going to be really tough.

"Every club realises how important the Champions League is, especially financially.

"Every club, when they play in the play-offs, spend a lot of money and they try to build a strong team."

Former Aston Villa captain Petrov announced his retirement from football in May following his battle against acute leukaemia.

But he hopes to take to the field again when Celtic host a legends charity match on September 8 to celebrate his career, with proceeds going to local charities and Petrov's own foundation.


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