Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp admitted today that the club's chairman Daniel Levy has told him to make a big-money signing during the January transfer window.
Levy is ready to reward Redknapp for his impressive reign at White Hart Lane by allowing him to splash out on the kind of world-class talent that could aid his club's bid for glory in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. However, although Redknapp would love to reinforce his squad, he insists finding the right players is proving difficult.
"The owner would like me in all honesty to go and spend his money and buy somebody who could make the difference," he said. "But I don't know where that player is. I know where they are but they're not for sale - we can't go and buy the people that you'd put your life on.
"Anybody whose got anybody who's real top class, they don't want to sell them at this stage of the season. We're not in the situation where we need to panic buy. Unless it's somebody who's going to make a difference to the team then we really wouldn't bother.
"We've got good players. We've got players that are getting better, which is great. (Gareth) Bale, what a year he's had. Luka Modric, he's just been incredible. You've got (Rafael) van der Vaart here now who's come in and, when he's been fit and playing, has just been fantastic."
One player reported to be leaving Tottenham during the window is Republic of Ireland forward Robbie Keane, with Newcastle and Aston Villa among a number of clubs interested, but Redknapp said: "He could still could play a big part for us, I think."
Tottenham host Fulham on tomorrow in their first match of 2011 and Redknapp knows victory is essential as his side try to keep up in the race for a top-four finish.
"Not being disrespectful to the other teams but, the position we're in, it really is beginning to look like it could be the five teams pushing for the Champions League places," Redknapp said. "Who are you going to knock out? You're not going to knock Man United out, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City. It looks like we're going to finish fifth, having said all that!"