Crystal Palace were forced to pull out of a deal to re-sign Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest target Bakary Sako this summer.

London News Online claim that Jason Puncheon’s failed move to Middlesbrough on transfer deadline day meant that the Eagles were unable to bring the winger back to Selhurst Park.

Roy Hodgson’s men were banking on Puncheon, who had fallen out of favour at the club, to leave this summer so they could free up a space within their Premier League squad ahead of the new season.

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Sako saw his deal expire at Palace at the end of last season, but the club remained keen on keeping him around.

They challenged the player to prove his fitness after a series of injuries kept him on the sidelines for the most of last season.

The player remains a free agent and has been attracting interest from the aforementioned Championship duo in recent weeks.