Pitso Mosimane is hoping to beat the registration deadline for the African Champions League on Monday with three more signings‚ but admits his club might have been priced out of the market by other teams.
He called on the management members to find a solution and suggested if they wanted to continue being successful on the continental stage‚ they had to invest in the players he needed.
Mosimane would not name his targets‚ but hinted one of those was SuperSport United striker Jeremy Brockie‚ though he remained unsure if a deal could be done.
In the wake of the 2-1 league victory at Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday that opened up a four-point lead at the top of the table‚ the Sundowns coach also suggested there would be departures from the team in January.
"We have a small squad. Everybody knows Sundowns as having big numbers‚ but we don’t. We have 24 players and that is why everybody has to play… there is no player that has not played‚" Mosimane said.
"As much as we are fighting to win the Premiership‚ we are also in a preparation period for the Champions League that starts in six weeks’ time."
Sundowns have already signed winger Aubrey Ngoma in this transfer window‚ but lost striker Leonardo Castro to Kaizer Chiefs.
Khama Billiat also seems be headed for the exit.
"Our objectives are different‚ that is why this is the time to sign players for us‚ not in June. That is why we brought Aubrey to come in now and we have to bring in three more.
"If we have a squad of 24 again‚ I am happy‚ and that means obviously some of the players will have to leave now.
"But you can’t let the players go if you don’t have those who you wish should come in."
Mosimane suggested the players he was eyeing before Monday were long-established targets‚ including Brockie‚ who handed in a transfer request in the last window to try to force a move to Sundowns that was turned down by SuperSport.
"We sign [players] a year before — the players we wanted‚ we wanted them last year‚ and you know… [who they are]."
Pressed on whether he thought he could push through the deals at the weekend‚ Mosimane was cautious.
"You know when Sundowns have to buy‚ the price is different‚ hey? That’s what we’re fighting.
"Ajax can tell you about the good cheques they got from us for Khama [Billiat]‚ Keagan [Dolly] and Rivaldo [Coetzee]."
But he also appeared to send a message to the club hierarchy that it had to stump up the cash if it wanted success.
"It’s a bit costly. But when you play Champions League‚ you trade in dollars.
"Sometimes you complain it is expensive‚ but once you go to the group stages of the Champions League‚ it is a totally different game."