ROTHERHAM United manager Paul Warne says he won't be rushed into summer signings just to fill gaps as the countdown continues to the new season.
Nearly three weeks have passed since the club did any transfer business, bringing in experienced front man Conor Washington.
There has been a mixture of nervousness and impatience from some supporters who are already expecting the potential loss of leading scorer Michael Smith and top defender Michael Ihiekwe to Championship rivals.
The transfer market is traditionally slow in June and any urgency among players to tie up deals does not come until the big kick-off looms closer and they need to get fixed up.
Until then, Warne is willing to wait to get in operators who can genuinely do a job in the second tier and help give the club a better fighting chance in the higher division than it has had before.
He told the Advertiser: “If you said to me now I could sign all the players I want and they all come in for pre-season training next week and their new training kits are out and there are 22 players and it's six weeks, eyes down, until the start of the season, that would be the dream.
“From speaking to other managers, I honestly don't believe anyone is in that position.
“The lads we are dealing with can see my hand of cards — a ten, a king and a queen, say. But I can't see their cards.
“They hold the aces at the moment in negotiations because they know you want them. They might be going on holiday, the agent might be going on holiday. The lad might want a weekend to think about it.
“We are in that kind of situation but as soon as the end of June gets here it flips.
“The players haven't got anything and clubs have reported back. All of a sudden their set of cards changes and the players' financial expectations reduce.
“If you want them through the door today then you have to pay a premium.
“It's the same everywhere. Everyone has financial parameters to work in and we're no different. At Middlesbrough, for instance, a player might be asking for X and they can only pay X minus whatever.
“Fulham, for example, don't want to pay premium for who they want to sign and nor do we.”
The current difficult climate hasn't stopped Warne wanting to tie up two or three deals in the next week or two, all within the club's budgetary constraints.
But it is still the more well heeled names right down the leagues that have got their men early.
Warne added: “If you look at all the leagues it is generally the wealthiest who have done the business.
“Manchester City and Liverpool have done the biggest deals so far in the Premier League and in League One it's Ipswich.
“If we want to improve on the players we've got and do all the deals in June, we can fill all our squad rota up and everyone will be happy but it might not be the quality of player we want.”