West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray is looking to add some much-needed physical presence to his attacking options and is tracking three potential new strikers.
Portuguese international Ariza Makukula is flying in for talks about a loan move from Benfica and Mowbray has also admitted an interest in Paris St Germain striker Pegguy Luyindula.
Nancy striker Marc-Antoine Fortune is also in talks to join Albion on loan until the end of the season, although claims yesterday that the deal is done seem premature.
Makukula and Luyindula certainly possess the physical presence Mowbray believes his side is lacking but he has warned there is a lot of talking to be done before a deal can be completed.
“Makakula is coming over but there is a long way to go before anything gets sorted out,” he said.
“He hasn’t played for a long time and, on the financial side, history would suggest there is a long way to go. We just get on with it because it is not my department. I don’t sit with the boy and ask how much he wants a week or how much the loan fee is going to be. That’s not my job and there are still plenty of things that can go wrong.
“I will just get on until he has either signed or hasn’t.”
Luyindula, a 29-year-old French international, is another striker Mowbray has been looking at in recent months but Mowbray said he was one of many names linked with a move to The Hawthorns.
“I think Luyindula is a player who’s been mentioned with a few clubs,” Mowbray said.
“I think it’s probably coming more from Paris, who are looking to maybe move him on, but he’s a player we’ve talked about and looked at.
“He played against Manchester City this year in the group stages of the Uefa Cup but I would have to put it down at this moment as just another player, another name to put down as speculation.”
Mowbray explained his desire to recruit a targetman striker as he believes Roman Bednar is the only striker in the squad who can fill that role.
However, the Albion boss believes the Czech Republic international is
only just coming to terms with what is required in the Premier League and the arrival of Makakula could provide his squad with the vital ingredient they are lacking.
“Makakula has a physical presence,” Mowbray said. “He has played for Portugal and you have to respect his talent. He is an international footballer and has played for a club like Benfica. I think our team at times needs a physical presence. Roman is now getting up to speed with what is required physically in the Premier League.
“I analyse every game and we can make 500 passes but have only four shots, and at times you have to play into a striker and he has to have the presence up there to hold the ball and allow the team to come further up the pitch.
“We are looking for a physical presence to help our team. At the moment the only physical presence, and he isn’t quite up to the speed yet, is Roman and we are looking for a little bit of help in that department.”
Meanwhile, Mowbray said the return of Felipe Teixeira after nine months out with a knee injury was like signing a new player.
The Portuguese midfielder made his first start at Peterborough since damaging cruciate knee ligaments and produced a superb performance.
“He is ready,” Mowbray said. “Nine months is a long time out of the game and he is a very talented individual, and we have missed that talent and the threat that he provides.”