Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray admits the club need to shed their highest earners in the January transfer window.
Mowbray has long admitted that he will have to operate within the club's means during the transfer window.
And whilst he would like to reshape his squad, the priority remains getting the club on a sound financial base.
Boro still have a number of players on Premier League wages, and whilst the club would like to keep their big names, they are unlikely to pass up the chance to shed the salaries of players like David Wheater, Gary O'Neil and Julio Arca
"Premiership wages are hurting this club. We'll see whether outgoings bring in money. But we want to keep our best young players, and if a club comes in for one of our players the deal must suit all parties," said Mowbray.
"If big players do leave it is the fall-out from being relegated from the Premier League.
"We have to get to a base level where income and expenditure marry up. The chairman has done amazing things for this club, and will continue to do so, but we have to have a level of reality.
"Gordon (Strachan) spent some money last time around to try and shoot the team out of this league. You can't just say 'let's have another go, let's have another go', every time the transfer window comes around."
Mowbray remains hopeful he will be able to bolster his squad and has a shortlist of targets already in place.
"We are working hard on bringing players in. We have names and have been in contact with clubs. But we can't throw money at it without players leaving," he said.
"And our players have not set the world alight. They are fourth from bottom. But we have some good players, and any club doing their job properly will want good players. So we'll see what January brings.
"Good players are my priority in the transfer window, wherever they play. If we sell a striker, then we will look to buy a striker.
"Having said that, we haven't got many wide players so we might buy one if there is one available who we think could help the team.
"We will hopefully have money we can release from sales of some of our current players that will allow us to bring new players in."
One player who is likely to be on Mowbray's shortlist is former defender Andrew Davies, who is training with the club.
The Stoke City stopper is available for transfer and, with David Wheater looking likely to move, Davies could very well be brought in for defensive cover.