Sunderland’s survival hopes could depend on owner Ellis Short being able to back David Moyes on the transfer front.
The January window was expected to remain closed to the Black Cats – certainly in terms of any incomings.
Everyone knows we’ve got restraints.
Chief executive Martin Bain last month admitted that Sunderland would not be in a position to go on any shopping spree, given the club’s debt, and more pertinently, the fact their wage bill is almost at its ceiling.
But Moyes hopes there could be some leeway, especially in the aftermath of Saturday’s 4-1 crushing at Burnley, where the Black Cats lost talisman Victor Anichebe to a hamstring injury.
“We’ve always said if we could do, we would [try to make signings],” said Moyes.
“But everyone knows we’ve got restraints.
“I think with what we’ve got [huge injury problems and Africa Cup of Nations departures] everybody would say of course Sunderland need help, so let’s hope maybe something happens and we’re able to do that.
“I think the supporters have known the situation.
“The club have made it clear.
“I spoke with Ellis and he’s saying ‘let’s see what’s out there and maybe we can try to do something’.”
Anichebe joins a colossal injury list which includes Lee Cattermole, Lynden Gooch, Jan Kirchhoff, Paddy McNair, Jordan Pickford and Duncan Watmore.
Lamine Kone also damaged his hamstring and came off in the 24th minute of Saturday’s depressing afternoon at Turf Moor.
Kone is due to fly out to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon, where he will be representing Ivory Coast, with Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) and Didier Ndong (Gabon) also involved for their nations.
Javier Manquillo, Steven Pienaar and Jack Rodwell all returned to the squad on Saturday at Burnley, Pienaar coming on in the second half for Anichebe.
But even with that trio back it still leaves Moyes desperately low on senior player numbers.
The manager says he is in constant contact with the owner over the situation.
“Ellis will speak with me and I’ll speak with Ellis, I’ve got no doubt,” added the Scot. “We’ll see what we can do.”
But Moyes admitted tempting players to join a club at the wrong end of the Premier League is not easy.
“It’s difficult,” he said. “It will even be difficult to attract the type of players we need.
“We have to say ‘we need you’ but that’s not going to be easy.”