LONDON // Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are prominent among a group of Premier League sides considering a January approach for Hugo Almeida.
The Portugal centre-forward's contract at German side Werder Bremen expires at the end of the season and he has resolved to leave the Bundesliga, having turned down a lucrative offer from Schalke.
The 26-year-old striker is a regular for his national side and, at 6ft 2ins, a muscular presence accustomed to operating as a solitary target man. Harry Redknapp has been seeking such a player since the summer; the arrival of Rafael van der Vaart accelerated Tottenham's switch to a single-striker system.
Everton have long been in the market for a reliable front man but have been unable to raise the funds for the correct signing. The contributions of Louis Saha and Yakubu have been consistently restricted by injury.
Almeida is also admired by Jose Mourinho, whose attempt to bring the forward with him to Real Madrid last summer was stymied by Florentino Perez. Real's president was keen that the 2009 acquisition Karim Benzema be granted full opportunity to succeed at the Bernabeu and remains under political pressure to limit the number of signings from outside Spain.
Mourinho continues to argue that Real's squad is dangerously undermanned by containing just two experienced strikers and could move for Almeida in January.
Meanwhile, Carlos Tevez, the Manchester City striker, has issued a statement flatly rejecting tabloid speculation that he has been seeing a psychiatrist in an effort to overcome depression.
Tevez, a doubt for Wednesday's Manchester derby, spent time in Argentina this week after treatment to recover from a dead leg, while also seeing his two young daughters.
That prompted speculation of a problem, especially as City teammate Roque Santa Cruz suggested Tevez was homesick.
However, a spokesman for the player said: "There is not a shred of truth in it. Carlos is very hurt by these accusations. But to suggest ... that he is suffering some kind of problem that requires professional help is simply not true."
* With agencies