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Villa looking to pick up Championship hotshot for free

| 23.04.2015

There’s a storm brewing in the Black Country, as Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion take their rivalry into the transfer market over Wolves’ Bakary Sako.

The former St Etienne striker has been in fine fettle this season, plundering 15 goals in Wolves’ promotion push and catching the eye of both Premier League Midlands clubs while doing so.

With his contract set to expire this summer, both clubs are eager to lure a potential bargain onto their books, while Wolves’ diminishing play-off hopes make sticking around in the second tier an unappealing prospect.

The Mali international has struck 34 times in 116 games for the Molineux outfit since signing from St Etienne in 2012, but it is the raw pace and improved finishing that has caught the eye of the Premier League pair this term.

Tim Sherwood is clearly keen to add to his striking options over the summer, with the former Tottenham manager linked to a reunion with Emmanuel Adebayor in recent days too.

It is the Villans that Sako reportedly wants a move to, with their ability to rally against relegation and a run to the FA Cup final supposedly convincing the 26-year-old a switch to Villa Park would be a step in the right direction.

The claret and blue wearers are outsiders to cap a memorable turnaround at Wembley, with Ladbrokes pricing them at 5/1 to beat Arsenal in the FA Cup later next month.

With four points standing between them and the drop zone, Sherwood’s new troops certainly looked to have allayed fears of the drop, allowing the gilet-sporting tactician to plan summer acquisitions for another Premier League campaign.

To that end, former Spurs youth Massimo Luongo has also been targeted. The Australian international would have cut his teeth as a central midfielder under Sherwood when the manager was in charge of the north London club’s youth.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.