Sunderland are in the market for January additions, according to David Moyes.
However, he has warned supporters that a combination of the club’s finances and the perilous league position will make it difficult to strengthen his squad.
The scale of Sunderland’s injury crisis was laid bare on Saturday, with Moyes barely able to muster an XI of fully fit players.
Six youngsters padded out the bench and the Scot made just one substitution, late on, bringing on veteran centre-half John O’Shea for the tiring Seb Larsson.
The crisis has, of course, been compounded by the Africa Cup of Nations, with Lamine Kone, Wahbi Khazri and Didier Ndong departing for the tournament in Gabon.
The trio could be away until the second week of February should their nations make it to the semi-finals.
It leaves Sunderland in dire need of fresh legs, with full-back Donald Love having to deputise in central midfield in Ndong’s absence.
Moyes said that he is hoping to make signings and has already begun searching the market.
He stressed again, however, that the club will not be able to make significant investments. He said: “We are looking, but saying we are looking doesn’t mean we are in there, spending millions and millions.
“But are we looking? Yes we are.
“But, in our position, it is not that easy to attract players to the club.”