Everton are interested in American starlet Jozy Altidore, skysports.com understands.
The Toffees are keen to bolster their strikeforce in the January transfer window, but manager David Moyes has already insisted that he has no money to spend.
He has already been strongly linked with the likes of Russian-based strikers Peter Odemwingie and Pavel Pogrebnyak.
But now the Toffees have made an approach to Villarreal to take the highly-rated Altidore.
The 19-year-old, already a full international, is regarded as one of the finest striking prospects in world football and Villarreal beat a host of clubs to land him last summer when they paid the MLS over £7million to take him from New York Red Bull.
However, skysports.com understands that Villarreal have shunned Everton's initial approach as they want Altidore to settle further in Spain rather than try his hand in the Premier League.
Moyes will be hoping that Villarreal change their mind, although he does have other options.
One of those is reported to be Venezuela international Giancarlo Maldonado.
The 26-year-old is currently plying his trade in Mexico with Atlante, and reports in North America claim Everton are keen.
Atlante president Jose Antonio Garcia said: "We want him to stay. He has a year and a half of his contract remaining but he is asking to leave.
"They want to take him on loan with an option to buy at the end of the deal. He told us he wants to play in England as these opportunities are very rare."