His season-long loan at Celtic is due to finish at the end of June and whatever chance there was of a renewal, or even a permanent deal, have been dealt a seemingly fatal blow by Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
He has been speaking about his loan players and the uncertainty surrounding their stay because of the coronavirus crisis.
But while mentioning Southampton duo Fraser Forster and Mohamed Elyounoussi, who are currently on loan at Parkhead, he failed (deliberately or otherwise) to mention Bauer.
Speaking to the Scottish Sun, Lennon said of the current fixture crisis: “It has thrown up all sorts of interesting quirks and questions.
“It’s hypothetical at the minute, but it’s another thing I will now have to think about.
“There may be a conversation with Southampton on that. We don’t know how long this is going to go on for. It’s an indefinite period.”
Bauer has made only six league starts for Celtic and the last of his nine league appearances was back on February 3.
The 28 year-old Austrian international still has two years left on his Stoke contract and had appeared to have burned all bridges here under Gary Rowett and then Nathan Jones.
But Michael O’Neill has spoken about having attacking full backs with the energy to get up and down the pitch… so who knows?