Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest suffer major transfer blow

Middlesbrough are set to miss out on Bakary Sako
Middlesbrough are set to miss out on Bakary Sako

Middlesbrough look set to miss out on a transfer target to one of their Championship rivals, according to reports.

TeamTalk had credited Boro with an interest in former Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako, who was a free agent after failing to agree fresh terms at Selhurst Park.

Sako, a Mali international, has vast experience of the second tier after a productive spell with Wolves and was thought to be interesting several Championship clubs.

Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa were both thought to be keen on a deal for the wideman - but it looks like a return to the Midlands is the most likely destination for the 30-year-old.

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West Brom manager Darren Moore has confirmed that Sako is currently training with his side and is looking to prove his fitness ahead of earning a deal.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Moore said: "If we are going to go any further with Bakary then you'll be the first to know. He’s been in training and that's where we are at the moment.

"We've just been having a look. He's wanted to come in and train and we've had a look at his fitness.”

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Such news will be a blow to Villa, Forest and Boro - who are still thought to be keen on signing another winger after the departure of Adama Traore.

Deals for Yannick Bolasie and Albert Adomah were both close but ultimately unsuccessful - but Tony Pulis could revisit the possibility of signing a wide player in the January transfer window.