Everton’s money and forward problems have led to David Moyes enquiring after the Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller.
The cash-strapped Blues are seeking a short-term fix to a problem which has seen them score fewer goals than relegation-threatened Bolton and Blackburn – and Moyes believes that the experienced Fuller can provide the answer for the remainder of the season.
Fuller scored his 50th goal for Stoke in a Europa League match away at Besiktas in December, but has slipped behind Peter Crouch, Jon Walters, Kenwyne Jones and Cameron Jerome in boss Tony Pulis’s plans.
Moyes had initially considered a move for the ex-Birmingham forward Jerome but the knowledge that the 25-year-old will be out of his price range has led the Scot to enquire about Fuller’s availability.
The Jamaican international has had an upturn in form since joining Stoke in 2006 following spells at Portsmouth and Southampton, but has failed to start a game in the Premier League this season, with all of his appearances coming in cup competitions.
Everton are hopeful that they can pay next-to-nothing for the 32-year-old forward, particularly with around £500k earmarked for the arrival of midfielder Darron Gibson from Manchester United, and the rest of the money from the sale of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal in August going to the banks.
Blues fans have been unhappy at their club’s lack of spending under the ownership of Bill Kenwright, but Moyes believes that the addition of an experienced forward such as Fuller will at least paper over the cracks until next season, when both the club and their manager are likely to face some big decisions.