Neil Lennon has confirmed Celtic have rejected a transfer bid from Norwich City for striker Gary Hooper.
The English front-man has 18 months left on his contract in Glasgow and is yet to commit to a new deal despite lengthy negotiations with the SPL champions.
However, Lennon is still unwilling to sell Hooper, saying Celtic do not need to let key players leave when they still have much to look forward to in the second half of the campaign, with a tie against Juventus coming up in the Champions League last 16.
“The bid has been rejected,” Lennon told reporters.
“Our case is simple – you are not going. He has a year and a half on his contract and he’s a Celtic player.
“We are very disappointed that this has become public knowledge because we do our business as privately as possible and it’s been leaked out somewhere, so we’re not happy about that.
“We had discussions with his representatives and are waiting to hear back from them. We are in a good position – we don’t want to sell. We feel we have a lot to look forward to in the second half of the season.
“We don’t want any of our top players to go and Gary comes into that bracket.
“I’ve not spoken to him because I was with his representatives most of the morning. I’m sure they’ll have a discussion later on.”
When quizzed on transfer speculation last week, Norwich boss Chris Hughton had denied making an offer for Hooper but said he would be interested in moving for players in the January transfer window if they were of the right quality.
He said: “Certainly if something happens it will be because it is right for us. Would I like to add to the squad? Yes, I would, but only if it is the right player.
“I wouldn’t just bring somebody in just for the sake of a couple of names. They would have to be able to get into the team.”
Hooper has scored 69 goals in 115 appearances for Celtic in all competitions since signing from Scunthorpe United for 2.4 million pounds in 2010.