David Moyes admits that selling Steven Pienaar in January would not raise enough money to buy a striker of the quality needed at Everton.
The Toffees have struggled for goals this season with Louis Saha, who started against Wigan, yet to score in the Premier League since last February.
Pienaar is out of contract in the summer and as yet has failed to agree a new deal at Goodison Park.
A number of clubs are thought to be trailing the South African schemer and Moyes could decide to cash in on the midfielder rather than risk losing him for nothing in the summer.
However, Moyes admits he is likely to be forced to look to the loan market to bring in a new forward next month.
"It may well come to it in the January transfer window that we have to consider selling Pienaar to raise money, because he is out of contract in the summer," said Moyes.
"But we know we need a striker, and realistically, the sort of money we will raise through that route, what type of player is it going to buy for us in the January market.
"The sort of money I'd raise, I don't think it will attract the type of player we need, the type of player we are looking for to provide the goals.
"The sort of money it will cost, I don't think selling a player will solve that particular problem, and it is probably a reality that we will have to look at bringing in a loan player, that it will be the loan market we will need to look at to provide some sort of solution."