Crewe manager Steve Davis has refused to rule out a move for QPR's Rob Hulse - although he accepts finances mean the deal is unlikely.
Davis has a headache in attack after learning on-loan Manchester City youngster Harry Bunn has suffered cruciate and lateral ligament damage, while fellow forward Mathias Pogba also has a knee injury.
Hulse began his career with the Railwaymen, scoring 51 goals in 131 appearances between 1999 and 2003, and was recently linked with a loan switch to Brentford after being left out of QPR's 25-man Premier League squad.
When asked if a move for Hulse would interest him, Davis said: "Possibly, yeah. I know Rob and I know Rob is a local lad as well.
"He's a quality player who's done well for Crewe in the past. He's not played a lot of football lately but, certainly with the position we're in, he'd be a decent acquisition for us."
Hulse has also been linked with Brentford and Davis added: "Brentford's wage budget would be a lot higher than ours, they might be able to afford him, so we'd have to do some clever wages with him."