VAKOUN ISSOUF BAYO will NOT be allowed to quit Celtic before this evening’s midnight deadline.

It appeared the Ivorian striker would be going out on loan to get some much-needed game-time.

Last January’s £2million arrival has started only two games this season while making nine substitute appearances. His solitary goal came in the 5-0 Betfred League Cup quarter-final win over Championship side Partick Thistle at Parkhead in September.

Odsonne Edouard is the acknowledged attack-leader while Leigh Griffiths continued his comeback with his third goal in four games in the 3-0 triumph over St Johnstone in Perth in midweek. Polish frontman Patryk Klimala has also joined in a £3.5million switch with Bayo dropping to fourth in the pecking order.

However, he will still be required as the Hoops push for a ninth successive title and attempt to make a dent on the European scene with a last-32 Europa League encounter against FC Copenhagen due next month.

Neil Lennon told the Daily Record: “The only way Bayo would go is if we brought another one in. I want to run with four strikers.”

The Hoops boss also dismissed a loan bid from Gillingham for youngster Karamoko Dembele.

He added: “They made an enquiry about Karamoko and it was turned down. I think this is the best place for him. We know of his capabilities, we know of his talent.

“We are very excited about him, but he is just going to turn 17 soon.

“We have to protect him and we have a duty of care with him in terms of his development, but we want it here.”


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