Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet is desperate for a transfer breakthrough after growing frustrated with a recent lack of new arrivals.
Sporting director Lee Congerton is working hard behind the scenes to add to the early-summer captures of Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones and Jordi Gomez, but his efforts to land Fabio Borini, Marcos Alonso and a series of other targets since are yet to bear fruit.
Poyet is hopeful of having another signing on board before he and his players head for their pre-season training camp in Portugal on Friday, but he admits the wait is causing him a headache.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "I'm waiting and waiting, which is not nice. You're expecting to do a couple of deals, but they're not happening.
"People say 'don't be anxious or nervous'. I think there will be at least one in by tomorrow, and I hope at the weekend we can have three in.
"But the word I'm saying is 'hope'. It's a matter of time, but as the days go past, that becomes difficult.
"We are waiting, we are desperate to do something in the next few days because we are going to Portugal and we need to have as many players as possible in place by the time we get there."
The pursuits of Borini and Alonso, who had loan spells at the Stadium of Light last season, have proved particularly frustrating with Borini's agent having suggested he is happy to fight for his place at Liverpool and Fiorentina yet to sanction a switch for full-back Alonso.
Asked specifically about Borini, Poyet said: "I think we need to be honest. The more time that goes past, it looks to me like we have less chance.
"Some people think the opposite - the more players Liverpool sign, then there is more chance. Let's see who is right and wrong.
"We've got specific targets and it's taking a little bit too long."