Sunderland are close to signing 22-year-old Spanish defender Marcos Alonso on loan from Fiorentina in the January transfer window.
Alonso, a former Bolton player, left the Reebok stadium for Italian outfit Fiorentina in May 2013.
Eight of the 14 players who arrived at the Stadium of Light in the summer were either season-long loan deals or free transfers.
But it is likely manager Gus Poyes has to sell some players to raise funds, as it is understood owner Ellis Short is unwilling to invest in the team.
Poyet will otherwise have to continue with the club’s transfer policy of signing free agents or players on loan.
While Poyet is only looking to make temporary additions, relegation rivals including West Ham and Crystal Palace are expected to be busy, with funds being made available to Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis respectively.
While Sunderland are currently bottom of the Premier League, they boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Boxing Day.