Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes admits he faces a battle to land signings to improve his squad during the January transfer window.
McInnes recently confirmed he is in the market for an attacking game-changer this month.
Aberdeen have registered two 0-0 draws in their previous three matches.
It is tough to get good players in during January unless you have the money to make people think differently.”
McInnes insists the winter window is traditionally tough to land game-changing players unless you have the cash to do so.
Funds are stretched at Aberdeen with the club hemorrhaging money due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and no fans inside stadia.
McInnes recently confirmed players would first have to exit Pittodrie this month to open up space, and cash, for new additions.
An extension of the short-term deal for full-back Greg Leigh, which expires this month, is also expected to be pushed through.
Leigh, who signed a short-term deal until January following his exit from Dutch second tier side NAC Breda, is currently out with a hamstring injury.
McInnes said: “It is tough to get good players in during January unless you have the money to make people think differently.
“Clubs do not want to lose good players in January as they are either competing at the bottom end of the table or the top end.
“To get good players in, you normally need a lot of money to persuade people to come and clubs to let them go.
“I am happy with the squad and the strength with players coming back into things.
“However, I am no different from any other manager that I want to make little adjustments here and there.”
Funds could be generated by the exit of Venezuelan international Ronald Hernandez.
MLS side Atlanta United, Aberdeen’s strategic partners, are understood to be set to move for the 23-year-old during the January window.
The Dons are confident, if Hernandez, who is currently in Venezuela, is sold this month, the £800,000 outlaid to Stabaek last January for him will be recouped.
— Ronald Hernández (@RonaldH_22) January 2, 2021
Aberdeen have been linked with a pre-contract move to secure Ross County striker Ross Stewart for next season.
Stewart is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been free to talk to any interested parties since the January transfer window opened.
Any move to land Stewart this month will be tough as the Staggies view him as pivotal to their fight to avoid relegation.
Loan striker Marley Watkins is currently recovering back at parent club Bristol City from a hamstring injury suffered while on loan at Aberdeen.
Watkins will not return to fitness until February, after the transfer window has closed.
The loan deal for Leeds United striker Ryan Edmondson, 19, is also set to expire this month.
Edmondson, out of contract at the end of the season at Elland Road, has started three times for Aberdeen – scoring twice.
It is understood a number of English lower league clubs are keen on taking Edmondson on loan should he exit Pittodrie.
Aberdeen are also reportedly tracking Dunfermline defender Euan Murray for a potential pre-contract for next summer.
The 26-year-old Pars’ skipper is out of contract at the end of the campaign.
A new deal has been offered by Dunfermline boss Stevie Crawford, but Murray is understood to be keen to explore other potential options.
McInnes has refused to rule out a return to Pittodrie this month for winger Gary Mackay-Steven, who is now a free agent.
MLS side New York City opted not to renew the contract for the Scotland international, who spent two years at Pittodrie from 2017 to 19 before moving to the US after his Dons deal expired.
Reports have linked Hearts to Mackay-Steven, but it is understood the Tynecastle side will not move for the winger.
We discussed whether a move to bring back Gary Mackay-Steven would improve Aberdeen on this week’s Northern Goal podcast:
Northern Goal is available here.
Whether he lands new additions or not, McInnes is confident the Dons will be even stronger in the second half of the campaign.
McInnes said: “Our points tally is good in relation to previous seasons despite having a couple of draws in the league lately.
“I am confident this team will get even better.”