Saturday Jul 10, 2021. 16:00
Ivorian striker Vakoun Bayo has completed a transfer from Celtic to KAA Gent – and left his national Olympic team short of one player in the process.
The 24-year-old striker walked out of the Elephants’ Olympic football team to enter into talks over the transfer, ultimately sealing a deal with Gent until 2025 for an undisclosed fee.
Bayo made just nine league appearances in two seasons with Celtic, before he was loaned to French side Toulouse for the 2020-21 campaign.
The player impressed during his spell in Ligue 2 by netting 12 goals, including one in the playoff defeat to Nantes as they narrowly missed out on promotion to the French top flight.
Toulouse had an option to buy the 24-year-old but club president Damien Comolli preferred another loan spell. This opened the door for Gent to swoop in and secure Bayo’s services.
Tim Matthys, the sports manager for the club, explained: “Vakoun is a fast and agile striker who is very strong offensively. He is a player who will offer our coach many opportunities up front.”
Meanwhile, the Ivorian Olympic team looks set to be short of one player. An Ivory Coast FA spokesman, as quoted by the Daily Record said: “We will try to replace him in the squad after this.
“But as it stands, we don’t think the IOC will accept our request since the deadline for submitting the lists has expired.”
The Elephants will have their first Olympic Group D match against Saudi Arabia on 22 July in Yokohama.