David Moyes is disappointed at the lack of January funds available - but has identified areas to strengthen should any wages be freed up.
Sunderland’s business next month will be ”very limited” given the constraints the club faces in terms of the £140million debt and the Premier League financial fair play restrictions around wages.
Owner Ellis Short continues to bankroll the club but wage restrictions mean Sunderland can’t even make a loan signing unless wages are freed up by selling players.
If the situation was to change then Moyes has identified adding a midfielder and centre-back to his squad.
Moyes insists the bleak picture will not distract him from the task of keeping the club in the Premier League and says it is better for Sunderland fans to know the full picture.
Moyes said: “As a football supporter then you want to be told and kept updated.
“You know you won’t get everything but at least people know that we are not out there in the market looking for lots of players to change things around.
“That is not possible.
“It is sometimes difficult to explain it properly, it is not necessarily that we need lots of millions of pounds.
“At the moment we can’t even bring a loan player in because of our wage position unless something else changes.
“Until that does then that is where we are at.”
When asked which areas of the team he would look to strengthen if the situation changes, Moyes identified midfield and defence as key.
Moyes said: “Because we have lost so many midfield players I would a type of midfield player, experienced, who can pass and make us play, that would be my preference.
“If I couldn’t get anything like that then I am always looking for young players that we can develop and make better.
“Also, I have to think about a centre half if we are to lose Lamine Kone to the Africa Nations.
“That is where my head is at the moment.”
Chief executive Martin Bain outlined the financial problems facing Sunderland this week.
Years of paying out for players but getting little back in sales, management upheaval, instalments for previous signings and a high wage bill upwards of £70million contributing to the club’s losses.
Sunderland spent £27million in the summer but Moyes believes more was needed after last season’s narrow escape.
He added: “I am disappointed because I always believed that Sunderland was the right place to come because of the supporters, the stadium and the owner’s backing.
“When I joined I wasn’t aware that there could possibly be a sale in the future or that there wasn’t any money.
“I was disappointed with the amount of cash available in the summer; I thought we needed more.
“But I lived with it because I had belief in the club and the things we wanted to do.”
Moyes insists all him and the players can focus on is Premier League survival.
He added: “Myself and the players have to make sure everything we do is 100 per cent be totally committed and focused on the next game which is Watford.
“The bigger picture has to be put to the background.
“When I took the job the first task was to make sure we are in the Premier League.
“The second is to restructure, rebuild to get us into a football club that isn’t fighting relegation every year.
“In my mind, it is still the same targets.
“I hope what has been said by the chief executive will galvanise people in a way.”