Johan Mjallby believes Celtic's stars will snub moves to play in Europe
Johan Mjallby believes the prospect of a Champions League last-16 tie will help Celtic hold onto their best players.
Last Updated: 19/12/12 3:57pm
Strikers Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras and midfielder Victor Wanyama are among the players being tipped to leave Glasgow when the transfer window re-opens.
However, with Neil Lennon's side now in the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition, Mjallby believes the Hoops stars will be more inclined to stay put.
"This should be a great incentive for them to stay here at Celtic and take us forward," said the Celtic assistant manager.
"You never know where it's going to take us.
"If we hadn't gone through and done as well as we have I think maybe some of the players who have done exceptionally well for us would maybe be interested to have another challenge."
Hooper, in particular, has impressed, with Italy's Juventus the latest linked with the striker who has netted 13 times this season.
"I think Gary's got 18 months left on his contract and we're delighted and we want to keep him," said Mjallby.
"I think there are discussions now with Gary, his agent and the club. Fingers crossed from my point of view something's going to happen.
"He's shown that he can do it at the highest level, so I can understand where the interest is coming from.
"It's down to Gary and what his targets are and what he's looking for. He's just enjoying playing football just now. He's in a good place."