Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia has confirmed that he has lined up five players as possible transfer targets.
Sbragia admits that he is unlikely to get all five but could have one or two in place by the time the club face Fulham in the Premier League on Tuesday evening.
The Scot has already stated that bringing in new defenders is his top priority and the need for new blood at the back was intensified at the weekend.
As well as suffering defeat against ten-man Aston Villa the Black Cats lost defenders Nyron Nosworthy and Danny Collins to injury.
"We have made enquiries about five and we're waiting to see where we stand," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"There's one we've got our eye on and if we bring him in, then he should be starting in Tuesday's game against Fulham.
"We might have one in by Tuesday, we might have two. We really just have to see how the weekend goes.
"Of the five players we've got under consideration, four are defenders and one is a midfielder, but we're not expecting to get all five in.
"We've just looked at players who think would suit us. We'll see if we can make something happen.
"When those two went off (Nosworthy and Collins) we only had four fit defenders to call on in total and clearly that's not a good situation.
"Thankfully, Danny looks as though he will be available for the weekend but we're still down to the bare bones."
Sunderland have been linked with a move for Hearts captain and defender Christophe Berra, while Sbragia has rejected rumours he is set to sign Bolton centre-half Danny Shittu.
"He's not one that we've looked at, no not at all," he added.