Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is "desperate" for a transfer breakthrough after growing frustrated with a recent lack of new arrivals.
The Black Cats have agreed a £14m fee with Liverpool for striker Fabio Borini but Poyet says hopes the Italian will sign are fading.
Borini, 23, was injured in the Reds' 1-0 friendly defeat against AS Roma in Boston on Wednesday.
"We are desperate to do something," Poyet told the Sunderland Echo.
Borini spent last season on loan on Wearside and helped Sunderland avoid relegation, but Poyet is not confident of securing the Italian's return.
He said: "I think we need to be honest. The more time that goes past, it looks to me like we have less chance.
"Some people think the opposite - the more players Liverpool sign, then there is more chance. Let's see who is right and wrong."
The squad leaves for a pre-season training camp in Portugal on Friday and Poyet admits he is frustrated.
He added: "I'm waiting and waiting, which is not nice. You're expecting to do a couple of deals, but they're not happening.
"People say 'don't be anxious or nervous'. I think there will be at least one in by Friday and I hope at the weekend we can have three in.
"But the word I'm saying is 'hope'. It's a matter of time, but as the days go past, that becomes difficult.
"We are waiting, we are desperate to do something in the next few days because we are going to Portugal and we need to have as many players as possible in place by the time we get there."
Borini's agent has suggested he is happy to fight for his place at Liverpool while Fiorentina are yet to sanction a switch for full-back Marcos Alonso, 23, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Sunderland who are reported to want to sign him permanently.