It has already proven a busy summer for Scottish champions Celtic with seven major deals having been wrapped up thus far, although the indication is that more incomings could be on their way, with manager Ange Postecoglou having even hinted as much at the weekend.
One name that has emerged as a surprise target of late is Marseille starlet Bamba Dieng, with the Parkhead outfit believed to be one of a number of clubs who are keen on signing the 22-year-old in the coming weeks.
The Senegal international is courting a great deal of attention due to his uncertain future at the Stade Velodrome, having been given the cold shoulder by new boss Igor Tudor despite enjoying a breakthrough season last term.
The suggestion is that the 5 foot 10 menace could be available for a fee of around £15m with a departure seemingly inevitable, ensuring that the Hoops would have to potentially pull off a club record deal to secure his signature.
That sizeable asking price may appear hefty for a player who has made just 42 senior appearances for his current side thus far, although on the basis of his recent form it would surely prove a worthwhile investment.
Last season saw the “serious talent” – as described by journalist Graeme Bailey – score eight goals and provide three assists in all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit, proving himself a real livewire under former boss Jorge Sampaoli.
Capable of featuring anywhere across the front line, the youngster’s versatility would no doubt suit the often fluid attacking approach that Postecoglou favours, with the 56-year-old also likely to be demanding even further attacking depth with the start of their Champions League voyage to come in the near future.
The hope will be that the “explosive” asset – as dubbed by Sampaoli – can replicate the success of another striker who arrived in Glasgow from France in Odsonne Edouard, with the current Crystal Palace marksman having thrived in Scottish football.
After joining the Hoops – initially on loan – in 2017 from Paris Saint-Germain, the 24-year-old went on to score a remarkable haul of 86 goals and provide a further 39 assists in 179 games in all competitions, winning a plethora of major honours in that time.
Much like Dieng, the Frenchman had limited senior experience prior to his move to Scotland, having scored just once in 17 games while on loan at Toulouse, after failing to ever make a first-team outing at the Parc des Princes.
That lack of experience mattered little, however, as he became a key figure for the club over the next four years, before joining the Eagles on a £14m deal last summer – with Celtic making a profit on their £9m investment.
Although Postecoglou won’t be thinking about losing Dieng before he’s even signed, there will be a consideration as to how they could potentially recoup a greater fee later down the line, while hoping to reap the benefits of his impressive displays in the short-term.
As the club saw with the case of Edouard, the French market can be particularly fruitful.