Report: Celtic, Ivory Coast striker Vakoun Bayo withdraws from Olympics squad

By Euan Davidson

July 9, 2021

Celtic striker Vakoun Bayo has withdrawn from the Olympics to secure a move to an unknown Belgian club, according to reports from the Ivory Coast.

Outlet Sportmania accused Bayo of playing a “dirty trick” by reneging on a call-up for the games in Japan. It leaves the Ivory Coast with a headache up front. Sportmania report that IOC regulators may not allow the country to recall a replacement in time for the games.

According to the report, Bayo is determined to make a move to Belgium immediately.

Bayo, who spent last season on loan with Toulouse, was recently linked with a permanent move to Les Violets. With the French side missing out on promotion, the club decided against paying Bayo’s £1.3m fee. However, chairman Damien Comolli suggested the ball was “in Bayo’s court” [Les Violets] over a move.

Instead, however, it seems that a Belgian club are looking to sign the misfiring Celtic striker. Bayo, described as a player Celtic could “develop” by Brendan Rodgers [BBC], has endured a difficult time with the Bhoys. In 17 outings, he’s only found the net twice [Transfermarkt].

Postecoglou hints at big week of Celtic announcements

There had been hopes that Bayo would use the Olympic Games as a springboard to revitalise his Celtic career. However, the Ivorian striker is reportedly steadfast in his desire to secure a move to mainland Europe.

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A very surprising turn of events for Ivory Coast and Celtic striker Vakoun Bayo

Strange decisions and odd bouts of luck; these developments sum up Vakoun Bayo’s time at Celtic in a nutshell.

He was initially quite impressive for the Bhoys. He ostensibly scored twice against Hearts in August 2019. However, both of his strikes were adjudged as own goals [BBC]. Then, very harshly, Bayo was sent off in the Europa League, against Stade Rennais [Daily Record].

Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images

After a productive season at Toulouse, it’s little wonder that there’s interest in the striker. However, it appears that Bayo is trying to get a move at the risk of his international career. As a bridge-burning exercise, withdrawing from the Olympic Games without time to find a replacement has to be up there.

It’s just a very strange scenario, that encapsulates our experience with Vakoun Bayo thus far. Given very little opportunity, it might’ve been interesting to see what Ange Postecoglou made of the striker.

However, with an “unknown” Belgian club trying to get him over the line as soon as possible, it’s likely we’ll never know if he’d have got another chance at Celtic.

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