Glenn Hoddle has not given up on the prospect of making his first signing as Wolverhampton-Wanderers manager - even though time is fast running out this season.
The Wolves boss is already past the mid-February target he set himself to give any new players time to settle in ahead of a late push for the play-offs.
It is now just over three weeks before this season's Championship transfer deadline, and Wolves' promotion chances have all but disappeared thanks to nine draws in 12 games.
With Hoddle still unable to get hold of the players he was after, having maintained all along that he would not bring in any new faces unless they were better than the ones he has already got, the odds on him actually making a loan signing have lessened.
But Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey, as anxious as anyone at the lack of an expected push for the play-offs, has hinted that there could still be financial backing for a more permanent signing if the right player comes available.
"We made it clear right from the start that there is not a huge lot of money sloshing about," said Moxey, "and that Glenn would chiefly be looking at loan signings.
"But he also knows that if there was an exceptional case, then there is a chance that something could be found."
Hoddle has admitted that young Arsenal defender Justin Hoyte is merely one of several promising reserve team players at top Premiership clubs who he has made serious inquiries about.
The Molineux board - still closely monitored by Sir Jack Hayward, despite his ' retirement' more than a year ago - have had their fingers burnt by the £27 million Hoddle's predecessor Dave Jones was allowed to spend in the space of three-and-a-half years.
Despite being impressed with Hoddle's methods in his three months at the helm, the board remain reluctant to go underwriting the signings of a man on such a short-term contract, who may not still be at Molineux once his sixmonth deal expires in May.
But the Wolves manager knows that there could be emergency funds to tap into - if he wants it. And, given the wretched way his team have played over the past three matches, few would doubt that he needs it.
At a time when his longterm commitment has been questioned, Hoddle's own stance appears to remain that he will act only when the right players have been made available.
With four English representatives still in the Champions League for now, he has been made aware that even the top clubs are cautious about parting with players.
"We've tried to bring players in," said Hoddle.
"Make no mistake about that. But what we haven't been able to do of certain reasons is make loan signings.
"Loans are always complicated. They need five or six things to fall into place before they go through.
"We've had three or four of those things fall into place on a few occasions, but there's always been an obstacle and that's why we've not been able to freshen it up.
"We've got until the window shuts and we'll still striving to do that, but I have to admit it's becoming more difficult."