Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is demanding striker cover be signed for Harry Kane.
Conte held a frank meeting with chairman Daniel Levy and managing director Fabio Paratici on Monday to deliver his assessment of the squad and discuss January targets.
It is understood the trio made a new forward, right wing-back and midfielder the priorities, while a number of fringe players are available to leave.
Dele Alli and Bryan Gil deputised up front in Sunday’s comeback win over Morecambe, but Kane had to come off the bench — along with Lucas Moura and Oliver Skipp — to rescue a toothless second string from an embarrassing FA Cup exit.
Conte said: “Especially in this League, because the level is very high and you have to play a lot of games, if you want to have ambition, to be competitive, to fight for something important, you have to have 20 players — two players in every role.
“For sure, as a coach it’s very difficult to decide to keep Harry on the bench. But at the same time, when you play the way we played in the last period — six games in 17 days — every coach has to have the possibility to make rotations without the level [of the team] dropping so much. Otherwise it’s difficult for the coach to make rotations because you want the best.
“You have to know that if you want to be competitive, you need a couple of players for every role. And between the player who usually plays, and the other player, the gap has to be not so big in every role. This is a problem for all the teams.”
Last season, Carlos Vinicius deputised for Kane, but the Benfica loanee never looked of the required standard in domestic matches.
Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen also struggled, making Heung-min Son — who is sidelined for the rest of the month with a hamstring injury — Kane’s most effective understudy.
“For sure, it’s not easy,” Conte said. “In case Harry has a problem — and I hope that never happens — there’s Steven Bergwijn I can play at No9. He has the right characteristics. It’s not simple to find a specific No9 but if you’re unable to buy players for the moment you want to rest Harry, you can take the best decision to play with a good player.”