The former Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Hooper had been strongly linked with a move to Bristol City.

But Hooper’s next club could be considerably further afield if reports in the Middle East are anything to go by.

According to the Tasnim News Agency, citing local reports, the 31-year-old has ‘reached a final agreement’ to join Esteghlal, who are based in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Hooper scored or made 43 goals in 82 games for Sheffield Wednesday, who released him just hours after their final league game of last season.

Hooper celebrates scoring against Leeds United in 2017 (photo by Mark Cosgrove/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Celtic, Aston Villa, Fulham and Bristol City – as well as clubs in Major League Soccer – have all been credited with an interest since then.

But according to Bristol Live, Hooper’s desire for a contract lasting beyond the end of the current campaign – not to mention his previous salary of £30,000 a week – made the chances of him joining Bristol City ‘remote’, despite initial talks between the two parties.

Etseghlal only employ two non-Iranian players, the Croatian left-back Hrvoje Milić and the Mailian striker Cheick Diabaté, although their manager Andrea Stramaccioni is Italian.

Sheffield Wednesday fans – would Hooper have been a good addition for Bristol City?


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