Kenny Jackett will be delighted to have Bakary Sako within the Wolves ranks for the return to the Sky Bet Championship provided there is no Premier League interest in the winger this summer.
The winger has been the subject of plenty of speculation over the last season, and Wolves have acknowledged that – with one year currently remaining on his contract – any top flight interest would have to be assessed, from the player’s point of view as well.
Equally though Jackett knows that Sako has a good and professional attitude and remains strongly committed to the Wolves cause, as proved with 13 goals and even more assists over a title-winning League One season.
“He has got a real good character,” says the Head Coach.
“When you speak to him he is a man and he has done well.
“There is inevitable speculation on and around every window. We understand that and I suppose that will start again somewhere along the line.
“If he hadn’t played very well this year then it wouldn’t happen.
“It’s a credit to him because he has handled dropping down. It was probably no fault of his own last year with the relegation.
“I’d say he was probably the player that came out of it with the most credit at the club. And the thing that has probably happened with Bakary is that his second year in English football was going to be better.
“He had a great first year here, a very good first year. If you look at the Championship last year he was right up there in terms of assists.
“He scored nine Championship goals from left wing and was one of the best in terms of assists.
“Now the second year in, I would just think he has shown he’s got a good attitude. A very good attitude.
“And in his second year he has kept the good things and added to what he has done through experience.
“I’d suggest a lot is down to his experience of just being in this country.”
In terms of speculation, Jackett says it is just a waiting game to see what happens, but that the option also remains for both parties to see the contract out and see where Wolves stand this time next year.
“Nothing has happened yet but every single window there has been speculation about him,” he added.
“Again, we’d be very happy for him to stay.
“He would be involved from Day One because for me personally he does done very well and he has worked hard this year and contributed well.
“And if he is here, that would be a good thing for the club.
“He has a year left on his contract, yes, and to some degree the power is not then with the clubs. It does depend on what interest there is on him.
“If they are successful seasons is it worth going right through (allowing the contract to run) .
“You do see that some clubs see it as a good investment.
“Other clubs perhaps panic and take whatever they can get.
“That is ahead of us and is for the next couple of months. It really does depend on who is interested.
“The people I work for are not necessarily going to panic and start touting him around.
“If somebody comes in with a genuine interest he has been quite open, and I think he has done very well with what he’s said.
“He has been honest. He said: ‘Look, I do want to play in the Premier League’ and everybody could understand that. So if there is Premier League clubs that are interested then we would have to talk to them. If they don’t come then he is a Wolves player and he carries on.”
There remain various contract issues on the table at present and work will continue behind the scenes over the coming weeks.
Jackett added: “All of the contractual situations we do need to tie up over the next few weeks, definitely.“And we will certainly be doing that before June.
“We have talked about it without necessarily making fixed and hard and fast decisions.
“You talk about where you are and then you see that a lot of the situations are on-going. It is similar with Sako.
“The summing up (internally) is pretty much what I’ve just said. The Premier League still have a few days to go. And do those clubs wait and we end up being in a situation with Sako of waiting for the phone to ring? That’s going to be where we are.”