Sunderland will ramp up transfer efforts during the 10-day break between fixtures – with the club sweating on a decision by Chris Martin.
The Black Cats beat Hull City 1-0 on Saturday to climb off the bottom of the Championship, but Chris Coleman has stressed the need for much-needed reinforcements.
Sunderland do not play again until the trip to face relegation rivals Birmingham City a week tomorrow, the day before the window closes.
The Wearsiders are understood to have agreed terms on a loan deal with Derby County for striker Martin, but there is strong competition from Reading.
The Black Cats will have to convince the 29-year-old Scotland international to make the switch to Wearside and Coleman and chief executive Martin Bain are sweating on a decision.
Sunderland are looking to sign two strikers this month, with the need for a holding and creative midfielder also pressing.
When asked whether the break between fixtures would help on the transfer front, Coleman said: “Maybe, it gives us a little bit of extra time.
“We are not playing this weekend, so we can throw ourselves into phone calls and speaking to people to try and bring some reinforcements in.
“We need rein-forcements.
“We were brilliant against Hull – the lads deserve all the plaudits – but we need some help and some strength in depth.”
Coleman revealed, in the aftermath of the win, that Sunderland have a transfer deal in place with a club and are waiting on a decision from a player.
He wasn’t mentioning names, but Martin is understood to be the player.
Coleman said: “We thought that something was over the line, but, at the minute, it is not. We have got a deal with a club and we are waiting for an answer and a decision from a player.
“I can’t mention players or clubs, but that is where we are.
“Until it is done, I can’t say yes. I am super confident until it is done.
“I have been out of the transfer market for a long time, six years.
“I think ‘we’ve got it’, but we haven’t yet. Until I am saying ‘yes, he is here’, we are where we are.
“We have to add (to the squad).
“You see the vulnerability of the squad. It is tough too for young players to go week in, week out where we are, in this league.
“Yes, we need players. It is no good saying we have won and have all the answers.
“That is not it.
“We have to build on what we have got, help the squad out with some strength and depth, simple as that.
“We have to go all out to do that.”
Derby boss Gary Rowett has admitted that Martin will leave this month, but he insisted it would be up to the player to decide his final destination.
Rowett said: “We have some strong interest in him, and Sunderland are one of those teams, but until the player decides he wants to go somewhere and signs on the dotted line, whether that is a loan or a permanent deal, then he is our player.
“If Chris wants to leave and he gets an opportunity to do so, then we will support that decision.”
Coleman distanced Sunderland from a loan move for promising Chelsea and Wales star Ethan Ampadu earlier in the window, but the Black Cats have been credited with an ongoing interest.
Coleman, in need of a defensive midfielder, gave the 17-year-old his international debut in November.
Sunderland and Rangers have also been linked with a loan move for Bournemouth midfielder Emerson Hyndman, 21.
When asked about his future, Cherries boss Eddie Howe said: “That’s something we will look at towards the end of the window. I wouldn’t close it off and say no but I wouldn’t say yes, either.”