Dundee United have a firm stance regarding Lawrence Shankland, they’ve made that pretty clear.
Indeed, Celtic have now been to see Shankland on two occasions now. Tosh McKinlay took a trip to see him bag a hat-trick against Morton in September (Daily Record). Nick Hammond then went and seen him tear Partick Thistle apart last week with another three goals (Scottish Sun). He now has 24 goals in 24 games this season (Transfermarkt).
United clearly don’t want to sell him just now as they feel he’ll be invaluable to clinching their promotion dreams. But Celtic also have a striker just now who reportedly wants a loan move (Scottish Sun).
Vakoun Bayo is well down the pecking order at Parkhead. He’s probably fourth choice even if Neil Lennon hasn’t come out and said it. You can’t see him playing ahead of Odsonne Edouard, Patryk Klimala, or Leigh Griffiths if it comes down to it.
Bayo could help sweeten the deal if United are interested
Therefore, as well as providing United a fee, Celtic should perhaps try and use Bayo to see if we can sweeten the deal. Considering the quality of striker United would likely try and replace Shankland with, Bayo could prove to be an ideal replacement, albeit temporarily.
Bayo has proven he can score against Championship opposition too. He was a real handful against Partick Thistle in the Betfred Cup clash at Parkhead back in September. He scored and could’ve had one or two more himself as well.
He also put in a really positive shift against Hearts back in August too. He played a huge part in two goals that effectively didn’t go down as his due to bad luck. £2m worth Bayo has proven he can cope with Scottish opposition (Glasgow Times), and would certainly do a more than decent job in the Championship.
Bayo could help keep United’s Championship lead
United already have a 17-point lead at the top of the table. Bringing Bayo in would help them see that over the line comfortably, whilst also providing the Ivorian with the game-time he needs.
Of course, the Arabs would hardly just accept a temporary player swap. Celtic would still need to cough up a fee for Shankland. However, it could effectively kill two birds with one stone as we would be getting a striker we’re apparently after whilst finding a solid move for our wantaway one.
United may say no. I’m not saying this is something Neilson would exactly jump at. But it’s worth Celtic asking the question. We shouldn’t disrespect United by lowballing them for a striker who’s of clearly high value to them. This is simply a chance to give them a helping hand whilst getting our own forward the minutes he needs as well as securing our target.