NEW Bhoy Vakoun Issouf Bayo snubbed a sensational eleventh-hour bid from Inter Milan to hijack his £2million move to Celtic.
The Italians believed they had beaten the Hoops to the Ivory Coast international striker and had already made plans to loan him to Parma for the remainder of the season.
But Bayo, who has scored 18 goals in 23 games for Romanian outfit Dunsjaka Streda in this campaign, rejected the offer to move to the Serie A giants as he preferred the switch to the Scottish champions.
The powerful frontman, who celebrates his 22nd birthday today, penned a four-year deal and the transfer will be rubber-stamped once he goes through the formality of being granted a work permit.
A delighted Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said: “He’s a good signing and it’s another forward player for us, which increases our options on the frontline for the second part of the season.
“He’s a young player who has scored goals, he’s broken into the Ivory Coast national team – Kolo Toure knows him well – and he’s a player we can develop. I’m looking forward to working with him.
“We’re a team that plays an aggressive and attacking game and I felt that was an area that we were short in, in terms of our options.
“Bringing in Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah will strengthen in central and wide areas and bringing Vakoun gives us a physicality, as well as a presence and speed.
“This allows us more options in terms of the systems that we play. The style will always be the same, but it increases the way in which we can play.”
Rodgers was forced to play teenager Mikey Johnson as his focal point up front in the 1-0 loss at Ibrox before the turn of the year.
The youngster tried manfully to lead the line on a day where too many of his experienced colleagues were toiling to make an impact.
Johnston lasted an hour before the inevitable appearance of Odsonne Edouard from the subs’ bench, but by then the points were slipping away in a dismal display from the champions, their first loss in 13 games against the Govan outfit since Rodgers arrived.
With Leigh Griffiths out for an unspecified time due to personal issues, the Hoops gaffer needed to beef up the attack and Bayo has already proved by rejecting the advances of Inter Milan that he is up for the challenge.