Saints move on from Hooper
Adkins eyes up other targets after Celtic insist striker is not for sale
Last Updated: January 21, 2012 12:11pm
Gary Hooper: Celtic striker has been the subject of bids from Southampton but is not for sale
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins says he has ended his interest in signing Gary Hooper after Celtic insisted the striker is not for sale.
Adkins worked with Hooper during his time in charge at Scunthorpe United and was keen on a January reunion to boost Saints' bid for promotion to the Premier League.
Celtic had previously rejected two offers for Hooper and Southampton were understood to be readying a third bid for the 23-year-old.
However, with SPL leaders Celtic in no mood to sell Hooper, Adkins has decided to move on to other targets after also being linked with Huddersfield Town hot-shot Jordan Rhodes.
"Celtic say they don't want to sell him. So that's it, end of story," said Adkins.
"I know Gary and I'm delighted he's doing so well. He's a top-class striker, but we have other good strikers here, so we move on."
Adkins also expressed disappointment that his interest in Hooper had come to light and believes Celtic are responsible for the issue reaching the public domain.
He added: "We've kept everything as private as we can. It's come out from the Celtic end that there was interest from ourselves.
"We're trying during this window to do everything quietly and privately behind the scenes."