David Moyes will almost certainly have to turn to some of his untried youngsters for Saturday's Premiership opener at Arsenal following the blow of losing his captain, Kevin Campbell, for a month with a hamstring injury.
The Everton manager is already missing Duncan Ferguson, who is suspended for three games, and Wayne Rooney, who has ankle ligament damage. Nick Chadwick is a prime candidate for his Premier League debut, even though he spent much of last season on loan at Queen's Park Rangers.
However, Moyes hopes to sign the French striker Tony Vareilles in time to face Arsenal. The 30-year-old free agent, who has played for Lens, Lyon and Bordeaux, has 100 senior goals to his credit, and other Premiership sides are also interested in him. But Moyes is poised to agree a deal with the Frenchman, preferably on a short-term basis.
Vareilles is looking for a long-term contract but will discuss the option of coming for a season, with the chance of being involved on Saturday.
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