Albion have gone abroad for a striker, because they cannot afford to buy British.
Boss Gus Poyet says he would love to sign somebody like Jason Roberts but the Seagulls’ budget for transfer fees and wages means they are concentrating their search overseas.
Albion remain in the hunt for £1.6 million rated Argentinian striker Leonardo Ulloa from Spanish Second Division club Almeria, although the deal is dependent on him securing an EU passport.
Reading were eighth in the Championship, one place higher than Albion’s current position, when they signed Roberts at the end of the January 2012 transfer window and he spearheaded their charge to the title.
Poyet, preparing his side for tomorrow’s FA Cup showdown against Newcastle at The Amex, said: “In England one of the biggest problems is that when it’s a very good British player it’s so expensive.
“That player will jump in your team and perform the next day because he’s used to the division, the weather, the pitches, the quantity of games.
“Those players we cannot afford. so then you have to find a similar player abroad. They can adapt after one day or month or they can take a year or two.
“The biggest example is Ronaldo. What a player in his second year and his third. I think we have to go that route because of the money.
“Jason Roberts at that time (last year) was one of the best players in the division. He made an impact. If you are able to bring that kind of player in, and pay him, he’ll make an impact and then you’ll have a great chance, especially when you have a striker with his characteristics.
“I would love to (sign Roberts). He (Reading manager Brian McDermott) would probably say no or ‘you’ll have to pay all his wages,’ which we can’t. It’s tough.
“For us at the moment it’s not possible but we’re trying. I’m trying to convince the chairman. We’ll get there. “In the five or six games we didn’t win at the Amex – and I’m not talking about Watford – if one of those players was here, I’m sure we would have got four wins from six, and then we’re probably third or fourth. That’s a big difference, because with another eight or nine points we would be big contenders for the top two.”
Ulloa, part-owned by a third party connected with his former Spanish club Castellon, has a gentleman’s agreement with the club president of Almeria to move in January or the summer.
He has been linked with Espanyol, Real Betis and Celta Vigo but they want a player exchange and he would prefer a move to England rather than Italy.
Ulloa is in the Almeria squad to play Girona on Sunday lunchtime. He is competing for a place with Brazilian rival Charles, who has overtaken him since signing from Cordoba in the summer.