RICHIE BARKER believes Crawley Town may be priced out of a move for Tyrone Barnett, despite the former Reds striker having been transfer listed by Peterborough United.
Barnett left Crawley for Posh in February on an initial loan deal with an agreed fee believed to be in the region of £1.2 million, which was completed in May.
However, the 27-year-old has failed to set the Championship alight and was transfer listed on Monday, along with three Peterborough team-mates, for a breach of club discipline.
With Jonathan Forte returning to Southampton next week, and Nicky Ajose failing to make an impact at the Broadfield, Barker has admitted he is looking to bring in both short and long term striker options.
"I'm always looking for players and we have put together a list. Hopefully we can get someone in during the next ten days, before the loan window shuts," Barker said. "I would still like to make a permanent signing over Christmas because it would be nice to kick on with the rest of the season with someone who was ours."
And despite Barnett fitting the bill, Barker believes Posh might want more money for the former fans' favourite than Crawley can afford.
"He has been playing in the Championship but maybe not setting the world alight there, so that would suggest he would be a good player for League One," Barker said of Barnett. "Tyrone has been here before, and I know he is someone the fans would like to see back, but Peterborough paid a fair amount for him and I should imagine they would like to see some of that back.
"The finances at Crawley aren't a bottomless pit. We can't be going out and spending half a million pounds on someone. Even if he has been transfer listed I should imagine Peterborough still want most of what they paid for him back."
Barker admits the possibility of Barnett and his strike partner, Matt Tubbs, who is now at AFC Bournemouth, returning to the Broadfield is something he often talks about, but "going back" isn't always the best options for the player or the club.
"I barely go a day without someone talking to me about Matt Tubbs and Tyrone Barnett," the manager said. "I know they were favourites among the fans but there is a saying in football: 'never go back'.
"I went back to Rotherham to finish my career there and it wasn't the same as it had been before.
"You've also got to consider that when these players were scoring all these goals, Crawley were in the Conference and League Two, we are at the top end of League One now."