Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has admitted for the first time that the Whites may delve into the transfer market next month following the exit of Samuel Saiz.
The Argentine saw his favoured playmaker complete a swift departure from Elland Road this week after his loan deal to La Liga side Getafe was confirmed following a "personal problem" which saw the 27-year-old return to Madrid.
The Spaniard's move will officially go through on January 1 with a view to a permanent transfer next summer but his move has weakened the Whites first-team squad in both quality and number of bodies.
Bielsa, who had been insistent until now that he didn't require any fresh outfield help, conceded for the first time that Leeds could in fact dip into the transfer window next month but would only do so if it immediately improved the playing squad.
"The possibility of strengthening the team is hypothetical. It's not set out," Bielsa said.
"There are facts such as that we have less players than we had at the start of the season. But to add players to the team whilst adding to quality of the team is something that is not easy to do.
"If we find players that are better than the ones that have left that would be good. For me, if a player arrives, he has to be of better quality to the one that has left. He has to adapt to the league and the team.
"The clear fact is that we have less players than we had six months ago, if a player arrives, it means he is better than the players that we already have."
Bielsa, who was speaking ahead of this weekend's Championship trip to Aston Villa, said of Saiz's exit: “We have a group of eighteen [key] players. When you put such limitations to the number of players, you can’t say happily that it doesn’t matter if one of the eighteen players leave."
“Of course we are in a condition to find a solution to the fact that he has left. It was a difficult situation to solve. I have absolute trust in the people who took the decision.”