Mohamed Bayo could sign a new contract at Clermont 63 after Premier League high-flyers West Ham United failed to meet the striker’s £9 million asking price, as reported by Le10 Sport.
After four games of the new Ligue 1 season, newly-promoted Clermont are sitting pretty in the Champions League places, a bona fide David looking down on the Goliaths of Lyon, Marseille, Monaco and Lille.
While Clermont are very unlikely to stay retain that top-three position for much longer, the rapid rise of RC Lens is proof of what can be achieved if you keep a talented squad of players together.
Lens finished an impressive seventh during their first season back in the big-time, retaining the services of Cheick Doucoure and Jonathan Clauss despite interest from the likes of Aston Villa and Everton.
Now that Bayo is in it for the long haul, there is no reason why Clermont cannot do what Lens did.
Scorer of 22 goals last season, Bayo has adapted to life in Ligue 1 quite brilliantly. Three goals and two assists in four matches, Lionel Messi would do well to match his impact.
Why did West Ham not pay up for Mohamed Bayo?
It’s something of a surprise, then, that interest from the likes of West Ham, Anderlecht, Bordeaux, Lyon and Lille did not turn into anything more serious.
Le10 Sport believe that none of the aforementioned quintet succeeded in stumping up the £9 million Clermont wanted for one of Europe’s most in-form strikers.
As a result, Bayo could now sign a contract extension at the Stade Gabriel Montpied through until 2024.
And provided he can maintain this outstanding start to the new campaign, Clermont will be demanding a lot more than £9 million when the January window opens in four months.
Until then, West Ham will be praying that Michail Antonio – the club’s only senior centre-forward – stays free of the sort of injuries that have plagued his London Stadium career.
Antonio right now is performing like a late-noughties Didier Drogba, like Popeye fuelled by a three-course meal consisting of creamed spinach on a bed of spinach, followed by a spinach soufflé.
But all it takes is a twang of the hamstring, a graze of the groin, and West Ham’s top-four hopes could go up in smoke.