Toon plot January swoop for £5m Celtic striker - reports
Celtic striker Gary Hooper is a reported transfer target for Newcastle
Newcastle United are lining up a £5m January transfer offer for Celtic striker Gary Hooper according to the Sun.
The 23-year-old began his career in non-league football playing for Grays Athletic, before being snapped up by Southend United in 2006.
Hooper progressed through the divisions with loan spells at Leyton Orient and Hereford United, before joining Scunthorpe United in 2008 for an initial fee of £125,000.
Two years later, Hooper earned a big-money move to Celtic, heading to Parkhead in a £2.4million deal.
After scoring on his Hoops debut in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round against Braga, the Englishman endeared himself to Bhoys fans, and finished his first season under manager Neil Lennon as Celtic's top goalscorer.
His form at Celtic Park has drawn calls for Hooper to be handed an international call-up, and whilst the player retains an ambition to play for England, he has previously admitted that playing in Scotland may be a hinderance to his international aspirations.
If reported interest from Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is true, then Hooper will likely relish the prospect of a return to England, with the St James' Park platform on which to ply his trade in the Barclays Premier League, giving him a more realistic chance of achieving his England goal.
Newcastle and Celtic have a strong relationship having agreed to a number of player exchanges in the past - the most recent involving a season-long loan deal for Fraser Forster who returned to Parkhead for a second spell this summer.
The Magpies will be looking to tap into that relationship, with a view to securing Hooper's signature, as they look to conclude their search for a striker in January.