(Reuters) – Everton are keen to recruit strikers in the January transfer window and are interested in signing Turkish striker Cenk Tosun from Besiktas, manager Sam Allardyce said on Friday.
Everton, who have scored 24 goals in 20 league matches this season, recorded consecutive goalless draws in their last two fixtures against Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion.
Allardyce rescued Everton from a relegation battle since he arrived at Goodison Park last month and has led the side up to ninth in the league standings. But the former England boss believes they must reinforce in attacking areas to retain a top-half position.
“We need to strengthen in our goal scoring areas,” Allardyce told a news conference.
“Players who are already in, like Sandro (Ramirez), have not picked up the pace of the Premier League and haven’t been able to show what they showed in Spain.
“(Dominic) Calvert-Lewin is battling away. I think he has got a bright future but I don’t think we can rely on him at the moment.”
British media reports say that Everton have agreed a 25 million pounds ($33.73 million) deal to sign Besiktas striker Tosun on a four-and-half-year contract when the transfer window opens on Jan. 1.
Asked about the club’s interest in the 26-year-old, Allardyce said: “Him and many others. We will be actively looking for a front man in this window.
“I need more goals in the side than what we have at the moment.”
Striker Wayne Rooney, Everton’s top scorer with 10 league goals, will return to the squad for Saturday’s league trip to Bournemouth after missing the last two matches with illness.
“Wayne is back from illness,” Allardyce added. “He has been stuck in bed for three days.
“Any quality player who gets fit and returns is a big boost. The only thing we have done recently is transformed the team into a better defensive unit, and that has given us a platform.”
Midfielders Ross Barkley and Idrissa Gueye have stepped up their recovery from hamstring injuries and are training with the first-team but they will remain on the sidelines at the Vitality Stadium.
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(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)