Port Vale are widely expected to sign an experienced striker to replace the departed JJ Hooper and Carlos Saleiro.
OVF casts its eye over some of the names that have been linked…
Izale McLeod – Notts County
Why? The experienced 31 year-old is out of favour with County.
Pros: A move to Vale Park could be attractive as he would be playing a division higher and Burslem isn’t a million miles away from Nottingham. McLeod would be affordable and has a decent record of goalscoring in League One.
Cons: There would no doubt be alarm bells that Vale would be targeting a player who can’t get in Notts County’s first-team. McLeod is no spring chicken anymore, may not fit the lone striker role and may not be match fit at the moment.
Andy Williams – Doncaster Rovers
Why? A proven League One scorer, he may want a move to a higher division.
Pros: Williams was Vale’s “number one target” last summer and he worked brilliantly as a lone striker for Swindon Town. He may be interested in a move to a higher division. At 29 he should be at his peak.
Cons: Williams is reportedly on high wages and also just one year into a three year contract so Doncaster may only sell for a hefty fee.
Adam Armstrong – Newcastle United
Why? The youngster is reportedly available for loan once more.
Pros: Armstrong was a runaway success on loan at Coventry City last season and Vale are interested as tweets by Norman Smurthwaite confirm.
Cons: Newcastle have already (according to Smurthwaite) turned Vale down as it is expected Armstrong may be loaned to a Championship side instead.
Matt Fryatt – Nottingham Forest
Why? Out of favour at Forest.
Pros: A proven goalscorer, Fryatt is only 30 years old and is seemingly out of favour at Nottingham Forest.
Cons: Fryatt hasn’t played a game for two seasons and in January Forest boss Dougie Freeman said the player was still “nowhere near” a return after an Achilles injury. His wages may be too high for the Valiants and there’s also the matter of persuading a Championship player to step down a division.
Adam Le Fondre
Why? Cardiff want to move the player on.
Pros: A proven goalscorer, Le Fondre has years of proven success in League One. His spells with Championship sides Cardiff and Wolves (on loan) were unsuccessful so with no Championship interest, a return to League One may be his only route to first-team football.
Cons: In one word – wages. Le Fondre is on a reported £16,000 a week and so any deal would clearly only work if Vale could loan him and Cardiff would accept a portion of his wages rather than the full amount. That looks unlikely.
Why? A free agent and Vale are/were interested.
Pros: A proven goalscorer over the years, Best could prove to be an ideal lone striker.
Cons: The player is on trial with Ipswich Town so any move to Vale Park looks pretty unlikely.
Tom Pope – Norman Smurthwaite has said he would have welcome Pope back but since the sale of Leon Clarke it is unlikely to happen. There are also doubts over whether Pope could fulfil the lone striker role.
Nathan Tyson – With the wages of Hooper and Saleiro available could Vale return for unattached Tyson? The signing of a 34 year-old seems to be a unlikely signing to be the club’s spearhead.
Uche Ikpeazu – A free agent after an unsuccessful trial with Norwich, there would be doubts over Uche’s suitability to play in Ribeiro’s formation.
Tom Elliott – The Wimbledon man was linked with the Vale last summer but he’s hardly been prolific for the Dons and again there would be doubts over his suitability for the lone striker role.
Images used in the top photograph – Sky Sports and BBC. Players from left to right: McLeod, Williams, Armstrong and Fryatt.