Alan Irvine says he will not be able to bring Luke Varney back to Sheffield Wednesday until he has moved players out of Hillsborough.
Varney spent the first half of the season on loan at Wednesday from Derby County and scored four goals in 19 Championship appearances.
The striker recently admitted that he would be keen to rejoin the Owls for a third time, having also spent a stint on loan at the club last season.
However, new boss Irvine admits that he will not be able to strengthen his squad until he has shipped players out of the club.
"I know Luke Varney did very well when he was here," Irvine told the club's official website.
"He is a very good player and someone I have known of since he was at Crewe, but right at this moment, without any other players going out, we don't have the funds to bring anybody else in."
Despite acknowledging he must offload players before bringing in new ones, Irvine insists he is not under pressure to cash in on any of his key players, with the likes of Lee Grant and Marcus Tudgay linked with moves away from the club.
He added: "There is no pressure on me to sell because we have no offers at the moment.
"But obviously, if any offers come in that are regarded as too good to turn down, then that pressure might come on me.
"I certainly can't think about bringing any players in without players going out. But I came here thinking that I would work with the squad that was here and hopefully we will get good results with that squad."