The Malian international could be a target for the Premier League after the Afcon.
Wolverhampton Wanderers will be one team not looking forward to the African Cup of Nations. They are set to lose one of their star players during the competition as Bakary Sako heads off to represent Mali in Equatorial Guinea.
But while the Afcon is one reason why they might be saying goodbye to him, there is also the transfer talk surrounding him.
The Wolves star has long been linked with a move back to Ligue 1 and in some cases the Premier League. The likes of Aston Villa in particular have been linked with an interest in his services. Villa were said to be watching him back in October and that interest was again reported in December - with Villa boss Paul Lambert said to be an ardent fan of his qualities.
Today Sako played a part in Wolves' FA Cup third round draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage, but after the game Wolves manager Kenny Jackett gave a less than comforting assessment of the Sako transfer stories, stating:
"We'd love to keep him but there is constant speculation about him. His ambition is the Premier League but I hope to keep him here."
Certainly words of encouragement for Villa if they want him, and words of warning for Wolves fans - who are being pre-empted to expect his exit.