Belfast Telegraph

Birmingham 'bid £4million for Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako'

Birmingham have lodged a £4million bid for Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako.

Blues boss Gianfranco Zola is ready to make Sako the club's most expensive signing in seven years, Press Association Sport understands.

The Italian - appointed by new owners Trillion Trophy Asia - has lost three and drawn one of his four games in charge at St Andrew's following Monday's 3-1 home defeat to Brentford.

Zola, who replaced Gary Rowett last month, has £9million left to spend in January, having already used £1million to turn Lukas Jutkiewicz's loan from Burnley into a permanent switch.

Mali international Sako has played just four times for the Eagles this season and has not started in the Premier League.

He has not featured in new boss Sam Allardyce's first two games but was an unused substitute in Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

He joined from Wolves on a free transfer in 2015 and scored in his first two appearances but played just 21 more times during an injury-hit first season.

Should Birmingham complete a move they will be without the 28-year-old for the African Nations Cup in Gabon with Mali opening their campaign in Egypt in two weeks' time.

The club last spent over £4million when they bought Nikola Zigic from Valencia for around £6million in 2010.


From Belfast Telegraph