Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is becoming increasingly frustrated by the transfer market, with the club failing to make any new additions thus far.
Allardyce is desperate to add quality and depth to his squad after the Black Cats narrowly avoided relegation last season, but the 61-year-old claims they are struggling to find anyone affordable who matches the criteria they are looking for.
"The two key ingredients are steering clear of these players getting injured, which can happen in pre-season, and not having the ability, just yet, to improve the squad with a new signing," he said at the club's training camp in Austria.
"We need two, three or four players as quickly as we possibly can. It's been a huge demand on all our resources trying to find those players and we will continue to until we're successful.
"The problem is that everybody thinks the money makes things easier, but it's actually made things more difficult, because we all have the same money and everybody else has got so much more expensive.
"The same player that cost £10m last year will now cost £20m, and the £20m one will now cost £35m or £40m, and the £40m one now costs £60m or £80m.
"That is the unfortunate market that we are working in, and we are trying to work in that market as shrewdly as possible to get the best players and the best value for money as we can.
"The fans, hopefully, will be a little bit patient. I have to admit myself that my patience is wearing thin – very, very thin indeed – but we have to keep striving to bring in those three or four players as quickly as possible.
"It was a huge disappointment for me, that I've only really just overcome, not being able to clinch the Davide Santon deal just a few days ago."