EFL Championship high-flyers West Bromwich Albion have signed Malian free agent Bakary Sako until the end of the season.
The 30-year-old, who was last on the books of Premier League side Crystal Palace, impressed West Brom manager Darren Moore while training with the club in recent weeks.
Sako, who fractured his ankle in February, scored six goals in 19 appearances for Palace last season, but turned down the chance to stay at Selhurst Park.
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West Brom were not the only side to have shown interest in Sako, but they are certainly an appealing prospect for the Malian given their rise to prominence in the Championship this season and the chances of them being promoted back to the top flight.
Moore’s presence played a big role in Sako deciding to sign with Albion: "He played a big part. A lot of Premier League clubs wanted me but as soon as I knew Darren wanted to see me I went to see him straight away and we clicked,” said the winger.
"The way he manages players, the way he talks, he’s passionate and I love that, that’s why I came here."
Sako is the Baggies’ second free agent signing, following in the footsteps of Wes Hoolahan. The 36-year-old Irishman earned a contract after he impressed on trial and Moore confirmed he was looking at more free agents.
He said: “He's one but there's a few players out there. There could be more in the weeks to come. I've been surprised this year the amount of free agents out there, it's been incredible.
“We are looking at what's out there in many areas of the team, all areas of the team. But they'll only come to the club if they're right for the club.”