GUS Poyet admitted he would pursue a January deal for Chris Wood after watching the Millwall loanee score twice against Brighton on Tuesday night.
The Seagulls are thought to be readying a £1.5million offer for the West Brom striker and chairman Tony Bloom has given his backing to the move.
Poyet did not hide his admiration for the New Zealand international and is hoping Wood's loan spell on the south coast in the 2010-11 season would persuade him to move to the Amex Stadium.
"The second goal from Wood was exceptional," Poyet said. "When you are on a bad run, you can't even lose the ball 40 yards from your own goal because someone's going to put it in the top corner.
"He's a man now. I told the players before the game not to expect the same player from when he was with us. He was a kid, a baby.
"He knows how to play the game, he's clinical and he's brave. He's a different player now. I'm pleased he's doing well. I hope he realises how we helped him earlier in his career.
"We're trying to get someone – before today, that player was not Chris Wood. That doesn't mean he's not coming in. Until today, we weren't even talking to anyone about Chris.
"We knew how well he has been doing, because we've been watching strikers and everyone else in the world.
"We need to check plenty of things before we move for him. I would like to sign a player in his kind of form and with the same attitude.
"He knows how to deal with balls in the air and to use his physique. He has non-stop energy. I saw him chasing the ball today, which wasn't his game two years ago.
"He's still only 21 and I think he's going to be a top, top player."