Aberdeen boss Mark McGhee has conceded he cannot afford to keep loan stars Steven MacLean and Jim Paterson at Pittodrie.
MacLean and Paterson are both out on loan from Championship club Plymouth until the end of the campaign and they have impressed during their short time at Aberdeen.
McGhee would like to sign the pair on a permanent basis, but he is resigned to losing both at the end of the season.
"It would be great to keep Paterson and MacLean beyond the summer but I don't think we will be able to afford them," admitted McGhee.
"It looks as if we are going to have to persuade players of their quality to come here for a third of the money they could get elsewhere, so it's going to be very hard to build up a squad the way I would like to.
"I know the situation the club is in and football is in, so know I will just have to do the best I can with what I've got.
"I can only work with the tools I'm given but I promise the Aberdeen FC fans I will do my best to get as strong a squad as possible in place for next season."