Sunderland’s Championship curtain-raiser at home Derby County is less than a fortnight away, yet Simon Grayson still has a number of issues to address before his side kick-off their season in 11 days time.
The Sunderland manager admitted last week that he will need to add at least one more goalkeeper to his squad before the transfer window shuts on 31 August.
With the futures of Lamine Kone, Wahbi Khazri and Jeremain Lens also unclear, the Black Cats could be left worryingly short if they are unable to replace their big name players.
It's no secret that Grayson isn't blessed with the same financial resources which have been handed to some of his Championship rivals.
Sunderland will, therefore, be hoping to land some shrewd signings for lower transfer fees, possibly younger players who are unproven in the Championship but have shown potential
Another option is to look at players who are out of contract.
Last season, Sunderland found a short-term solution to their striker dilemma by signing free agent Victor Anichebe.
So could that be an option again?
Here are five players who are currently out of contract who Sunderland could take a look at.
1. Anders Lindegaard
Following the departures of Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone, Sunderland are in desperate need of a new shot stopper. As things stand, Mika and 21-year-old Max Stryjek are
Sunderland's only contracted goalkeepers. However, neither have played a competitive first team game.
Former Manchester United keeper Anders Lindegaard could provide a solution following the 33-year-old’s release from Preston at the end of last season.
The former Denmark international has experience in the Championship after making 22 appearances for the Lancashire club, where he also played under Grayson.
After being signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2010, Lindegaard was a useful backup at Old Trafford before moving to West Brom in 2015.
Sunderland could offer a contract to trialist goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter, who impressed spectators in the 3-2 victory over Bradford at the weekend.
However, after the game, Grayson admitted that he still needs another player to compete for the number one jersey - even if he does offer the Dutchman a contract.
Could Lindegaard be that man?
2. Ross Turnbull
Another keeper who is without a club after an unsuccessful spell at Leeds came to an end last month.
Turnbull failed to make a single appearance over two seasons at Elland Road, where he was forced to play backup to Rob Green last campaign.
Even so, Turnbull, 32, could still provide a save pair of hands between the sticks, after racking up 63 appearances with Crewe, Cardiff and Doncaster.
Turnbull, who came through the youth academy at Middlesbrough, earned a move to Chelsea in 2009 following Boro's relegation to the Championship.
He spent four years at Stamford Bridge, where he was deputy to Petr Cech, though he only played a handful of games.
Like Lindegaard, though, his experience could be a valuable asset.
3. Alex Bruce
It's usually common courtesy to let a player know if they are going to be offered a new contract or not.
That wasn't the case for Alex Bruce, however, who only found out that he had been released by Hull after finding the news on Twitter.
The Northern Irish centre back, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Wigan, had spent five years at the KC Stadium, where he had been involved in two Championship
Sunderland's centre back situation is still unclear right now, with Lamine Kone expected to leave the club.
At the very least, Bruce could provide some capable cover until Grayson finds a more permanent replacement.
For no fee, he may be worth a punt.
4. Sébastien Bassong
Like Bruce, Bassong may not fill Sunderland fans with heaps of confidence, however with limited funds available he could be a solid acquisition.
The Cameroon international left Norwich at the end of last season following five years at Carrow Road.
In that time, he helped the Canaries win promotion to the Premier League in 2015, while also amassing over 100 appearances for the East Angular club.
So far this transfer window, Grayson has looked to sign players from British clubs rather than searching abroad.
Bassong has also represented Newcastle, Tottenham and Wolves so should be well accustomed to English football by now.
5. Joe Ledley
Surprisingly the Welsh international is still a free agent after leaving Crystal Palace at the end of last season.
The combative midfielder made 18 appearances for Palace last campaign but eventually fell behind the likes of Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur at Selhurst Park.
At 30-years-old, Ledley could provide some much-needed steel to the heart of Sunderland's midfield.
Lee Cattermole and Didier Ndong have showed signs that they could form a decent partnership in the midfield engine room, however it is an area which could still be strengthened.
Last summer Ledley was one of Wales' star performers at Euro 2016, when they remarkably reached the semi-finals in France.
He also has a Championship promotion on his CV after helping the Eagles reach the Premier League in 2010.