The unsettled Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Bakary Sako has appealed to the League One club to lower their asking price for his services and revive negotiations with Fulham as the Frenchman seeks to force through a move to the Premier League.
Sako, a £2.2m signing from St Etienne last summer, was granted permission to talk to Martin Jol's side earlier this month but negotiations have since hit an impasse with Fulham unwilling to meet Wolves' asking price of around £4m. The 25-year-old still hopes the differences between the Wolves chief executive, Jez Moxey, and his counterpart Alistair Mackintosh can be resolved.
"When I joined Wolves, the club said to me the aim was to reach the Premier League together," said Sako, who was voted the club's player of the year in a troubled season that culminated in relegation to the third tier where they had been expected to challenge for a return to the elite. "I am sad that has not happened, but I gave everything and have always been respectful to the club.
"At that first meeting, I sat with [the former Wolves manager] Stale Solbakken and Jez Moxey and they told me if we didn't get promoted, the club would let me go. I was told I could speak to Fulham and now I don't understand the delay. I would like things to be sorted out. I am only being ambitious. I believe the fans will understand that. In the difficult moments we had last season, they were very good to me and I hope they saw someone who gave everything back to them. I will never speak badly of the supporters."
The Frenchman has reported back for pre-season training but still wants to move on, with a trio of French clubs – Lille, Lyon and Marseille – also monitoring the situation. Despite being signed following relegation from the Premier League, Sako is one of the bigger earners still at Molineux on a salary of around £20,000-a-week. Yet, while Wolves are keen to remove those wages from the books, they are seeking to make a profit on the fee paid for the former France Under-21 international with Fulham reluctant to stretch to £4m, money the League One club would hope to reinvest in the squad.
The recently appointed Wolves manager, Kenny Jackett, wants to add to his squad this summer but must juggle that aim with a need to move on other major earners. The experienced quartet of Karl Henry, Jamie O'Hara, Roger Johnson and Stephen Ward – who all played in the top flight for the club – have been made available for transfer, while the likes of Sylvain Ebanks-Blake, Christophe Berra and Stephen Hunt have departed under freedom of contract.