Former ​Crystal ​Palace​ forward Bakary Sako is attracting plenty of interest from Championship clubs after becoming a free agent this summer.

​The forward was released by the Eagles this summer after failing to agree terms to a new contract, although was close to returning to Selhurst Park with Roy Hodgson revealing in his pre-match press conference last week (via ​Football.London) that his representatives had been in talks with the club regarding a potential return.


He said: "He was offered a new contract at the end of last season when of course he was badly injured; he missed the latter part of last season with a bad injury he picked up at West Ham. But we still offered him a new contract, despite the fact we couldn’t be certain he would be fit enough for the start of the new season.

​"He turned that down, but (sporting director) Doug Freedman has told me he has now been contacted by the player and his agent and that they may have re-thought that and he might now be interested. And if that is the case, then we will review it, but we can't sign anybody unless two players leave the club."

Crystal Palace v Burnley - Premier League

​Whilst there were talks of a potential reunion, they now seem to have diminished with ​TeamTalk reporting that both ​Middlesbrough and ​Aston Villa expressing an interest in the striker.

​Middlesbrough have been labelled amongst the favourites for promotion to the Premier League this season, however Tony Pulis is reportedly still keen to strengthen in the attacking areas having missed out on deals for both Yannick Bolasie and Albert Adomah, and has now turned his attention to the former ​Palace man.

​Villa, on the other hand, did beat Middlesbrough to the signing of Bolasie, however are still keen to strengthen their squad ahead of what promises to be a congested Championship season. 

The 30-year-old made 50 appearances for the Eagles and scored eight goals during his three seasons at Selhurst Park. He last played in the Championship for ​Wolves in the 2014/15 season and scored an impressive 15 goals in 41 league appearances as the club just missed out on a playoff place.