Sunderland boss David Moyes will not be able to buy his way out of trouble in January despite the club heading towards the festive programme sitting at the foot of the Premier League table.
Chief executive Martin Bain has revealed there will be no repeat of last year's £15million transfer window rescue mission, when Sam Allardyce brought in Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchhoff and Wahbi Khazri and saw them spark an ultimately successful fightback. Bain has also admitted a reluctance to sell prized assets Jordan Pickford and Kone, who has a release clause which is understood to amount to around £25million in his new contract, to fund another spree.
Moyes said: "The word I've got for you is 'limited', I could probably say 'very limited' with regards to the January transfer window. "We are not going to be able to spend to get out of trouble. There will be people who will argue that we did that last year and it worked - I recognise that - but that kind of purchase from the past can lead you to where the club is now.
"That is the loud and clear message: we cannot spend to get out of trouble. In terms of this transfer window in January, we have reached a point where there has to be a time where you don't have that short-term hit to plug the holes in the dam." However, while owner Ellis Short, who has ploughed in excess of £200m into the club, will not sanction further investment, he is not about to walk away from a business which has attracted interest from prospective buyers in recent months.
The American businessman remains open to offers - the club is believed to be valued at around £170m - but Bain insists he would only consider a proposal that would benefit the club in the long run.