DAVID MOYES admits it will not be easy to plan his summer transfer strategy until he knows his budget.
The Everton boss is preparing for key talks with his board to determine what end of the market he can shop in, as he looks to recruit a top-class goalscorer and add pace to his midfield.
But until he has the green light to spend – and has factored in the cash from expected sales of Yakubu, James Vaughan and Joseph Yobo – Moyes (right) is facing a period of uncertainty as he bids to do his business promptly.
Everton’s scouting network has been busy preparing a shortlist of potential signings from across the continent, and Moyes is insistent that fresh faces are needed whatever their price.
He said: “I want to try and be ready, but it is not easy.
“The scouts do a brilliant job at Everton. I work them hard and they have been looking at players up to a value of up to £10-15m but also looking at players for nothing and around say the £60,000 Seamus Coleman amount.
“The staff have been on the road for months so when we get the nod we’re ready to give Everton a fresh look.
“I go to games all the time and that’s why I get linked with players. I like to go and watch a lot of games for myself but also to see what’s new, which players are out there.
“But that doesn’t mean I’m going to sign them. If someone catches your eye you think you’ve got to go and have another look, if he’s not already been flagged up.
“You need to know if it was just a one-off, I don’t think you’d ever go there, see a player for the first time and sign him straight away, except maybe with a young lad before someone else gets in there.
“But if it is someone at a decent club you’d try and do a bit more homework on them.”
The Blues boss insists he will not be overly frustrated if he is forced to target the bargain basement.
“I won’t be disappointed,” he said. “I think it is good for the players if they see I’m trying to add quality to the squad and I think they want me to do that as well.
“There’s not a great deal out there. There’ll be different reasons, there’ll be age, there’ll be price, contract length. There’s not massive amounts in the market.
“As people know, every penny we spend at Everton is scrutinised by supporters because we don’t get to spend much and other clubs spend loads of it.”
Meanwhile, Everton will face Bury in a pre-season friendly on July 15. The game, which kicks off at Gigg Lane at 7.45pm, is the Blues' third summer friendly to be unveiled, following the confirmation of a two-match USA tour later in July.
The Shakers had an impressive 2010/11 season, securing promotion to League One.
Everton have played regular friendlies at Bury over the last few seasons, most recently in July 2009.