Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Bakary Sako has hinted he could return to the club next season amid speculation linking him with a summer move away from Molineux.
The former AS Saint-Étienne ace, 25, has caught the eye of a number of bigger clubs in recent times but is contracted to Wolves until the end of the next season.
However, the League One side — who have already secured promotion to the Sky Bet Championship for next term — could decide to cash in on the Mali international, with Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Rennes reportedly monitoring his progress.
Sako, valued at around €4 million, has enjoyed his regular first-team football in 2013/14 and has insisted he is happy to stay in the West Midlands.
“We’ve got a lot of good players here now, and young players who are keen to succeed,” Sako told the Birmingham Mail.
“With that, I think the team can continue to do better and do well next season.
“For me, I’ve still got a year on my contract and, as always, will do my best for the club.
“I have really enjoyed my football this season.”
The 25-year-old winger, with 12 goals and 12 assists to his name this term (in 38 appearances), is also delighted Wolves have won promotion back to the Championship after being relegated last season.
“I’m so happy we are promoted because it wasn’t easy and everyone has had to work very hard to achieve it,” added Sako.
“Everyone is delighted because we have got the club back to the Championship, which is where, at least, it belongs to be.
“We have to carry on improving again next year.
“People might have said it should be easy for Wolves in this division, but it was never going to happen that way and we have done it with a completely new team.
“I think we have done very well and especially the gaffer with the job he has done, to get us playing well and also such a good team spirit.
“I think that is a big reason why we have done better than last year.”
Can Wolves pull off the improbable and win promotion to the English Premier League next season?
Draxler staying put
FC Schalke 04 chairman Clemens Tonnies has revealed it would take an ‘extraordinary’ offer to secure the services of Julian Draxler in the summer transfer window.
In this case, an ‘extraordinary’ offer would be £37 million, which matches the release clause in the Germany international’s current deal at the Veltins-Arena.
That said, Schalke could resist any offer short of their valuation because Draxler — a reported transfer target of Arsenal and Manchester United — is under contract at the Gelsenkirchen-based club until 30 June 2018.
“Julian will stay at our club, if there is not something extraordinary going to happen [this summer],” Tonnies told Sport-BILD, per Sky Sports.
“After that next season we will have to see. But I am very much convinced he will play even longer for Schalke than just next season.”
Draxler, 20, has tallied one goal and six assists in 23 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke this term.