Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal is confident he will be given money to spend in the January transfer window - but says he might have to sign "sardines" rather than "lobsters".
Carvalhal took charge of the Premier League's bottom side on 28 December.
Having won one and lost one of his two games so far, the Portuguese has spoken to chairman Huw Jenkins about transfer targets.
"We have money for sardines and I'm thinking lobster," said Carvalhal.
"I will do my best to try and bring in the best players. I will look to the lobsters and sea bass, but if not we must buy sardines. But sometimes the sardines can win games.
"There are limits. I understand this is a responsible club and they don't want to create a problem for the club in the future.
"It will not be easy but we are trying to do the maximum and I have confidence they [Jenkins and the club's owners] will do the maximum to get the players I request."
There will be an onus on Swansea to strengthen their squad this month, with the Welsh side losing 14 of their 22 Premier League games to date this season.
In the previous transfer window last summer, they sold their two best players, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, to Everton and Tottenham but failed to replace them adequately.
Jenkins has been criticised for his role in the Swans' recruitment, though Carvalhal is happy to collaborate with the club's chairman where transfers are concerned.
"It is not an easy situation in this moment for us about money, the market and the situation we have in the competition [Premier League]," he added.
"Not all players would come to a team that's fighting like us to stay in the competition.
"The first conversation was okay. We need cover in positions, the chairman knows this and we must check players. I cannot tell you the names of the players because it is a principle of mine not to talk about players not in my squad. I have never done this.
"You could ask if Messi was in our plans, I would tell you like this, but I tell you we want the best players possible and we will talk about them when they sign."
Carvalhal and Jenkins will resume transfer talks after Saturday's FA Cup third-round trip to Championship leaders Wolves.
Despite being a division lower than Swansea, Nuno Espirito Santo's in-form hosts are the bookies' favourites for the tie at Molineux.
"Wolves is not a typical club from the Championship," said former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carvalhal.
"In my three seasons in the Championship they were the best team I saw. If they competed in the Premier League with this team, I believe they would be in the middle.
"I don't agree that they are the favourites. I think it will be 50-50 like all the teams from the Premier League that go to a Championship club, especially away, because the tempo in the Championship is higher than the Premier League, the players run more in my perception and they make the games difficult.
"It will be a difficult game, they are winning most of their games but we are going there understanding it will not be a surprise whoever wins."