Ligue 2 side Toulouse are close to signing Celtic striker Vakoun Bayo, according to French media outlet La Depeche.

The Toulouse-based news outlet believes that their local club are close to an agreement with Celtic to sign the Ivorian, who only made 16 appearances for the Hoops last season (Transfermarkt).

The report also seems to hint that a deal could be permanent, with no mention of a loan being agreed. La Depeche has said that Michael Frey from Fenerbahce was also considered, but that Toulouse have instead decided to move for Bayo.

Bayo against Rennes

Bayo against Rennes (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP)

In recent days, St Mirren have also been linked with a move for the striker, but only on a loan basis (Daily Record). It remains to be seen whether any agreement with Toulouse is a temporary one. Regardless, Bayo’s departure from Parkhead is looking more and more inevitable this season.

Interestingly, St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin stated back in February that he failed to get Bayo once before because Neil Lennon wanted four strikers in his squad (BBC). Should Bayo depart, a striker would need to be brought into Parkhead in order for Celtic to maintain that level of competition.

Bayo offers something, but is time running out?

Bayo was signed by Celtic back in 2018 in a £2million deal (Glasgow Times). You can’t deny that we all would’ve hoped that he would’ve made more of an impact by now. After all, it’s nearly three years since he signed for the club.

 

During the 2019/20 campaign in which he managed 16 outings, Bayo was given some chances to shine. He impressed against Hearts at Celtic Park when he played a huge role in two goals back in August. He also managed to net against Clyde and Partick Thistle. But unfortunately, he ended the season without managing a goal against a Premiership side.

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Yet Bayo has offered Celtic a different dimension. He’s shown his strength in the final third and proved that he can win his fair share of aerial duels. Despite that, Celtic fans haven’t really been able to make a fair judgment on him given his lack of minutes.

Celtic currently have Odsonne Edouard, Patryk Klimala, and Leigh Griffiths ahead of the Ivorian in the pecking order. Chances would once again be limited for Bayo if he stayed on in Glasgow, but it would be a bit of an eyebrow-raiser if he was allowed to depart permanently.

Any deal for him would surely see Celtic lose heavily on their £2m investment as well. However, if he does depart for good then it would show you exactly how far away he is from first-team action here.

In other news, Celtic have asked to be kept informed of bids for Hearts defender Aaron Hickey.

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