Celtic boss Neil Lennon has played down speculation linking striker Gary Hooper with a move to Liverpool.

The 24-year-old Englishman continues to earn rave reviews in the Scottish Premier League, leading to speculation over a move to Anfield at the end of last week.

And, with Fabio Borini now out for up to three months with a broken foot, it appears Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will need to strenghten in the position with a new addition in 2013.

However, Bhoys chief Lennon was eager to distance the Hoops from such claims, and remains hopeful that the player will pen a new deal at Celtic Park.

"It is speculation. It wouldn't surprise me if there are a number of clubs in for Gary because of the way he is but I would poo-poo that (Liverpool link),” he’s quoted as saying on SkySports.

"We are still in negotiations at the minute and I don't think we are too far away. There will be interest in them (Hooper and Fraser Forster) but they are not going anywhere.”

Liverpool had limited options in attack before Borini picked up his injury, and Uruguayan international Luis Suarez is now the only fit and senior striker on the books on Merseyside.

Dani Pacheco is trying to force his way into the senior fold, but remains on the periphery of the senior setup, leading to speculation that he will look to sign another player in the position in January.

However, Hooper does not appear to be the man for Liverpool in the New Year.

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