Sam Allardyce concedes "most" of West Ham's initial January transfer targets will not be heading to Upton Park.
Allardyce's squad has been ravaged by injuries this season, with defender James Tomkins the latest to join the growing casualty list after being withdrawn after 11 minutes of the 3-3 draw with West Brom on Saturday with a groin problem.
The West Ham manager has spoken openly of his desire to strengthen next month, but has now revealed that some players he is keen on have either snubbed a move to the Premier League strugglers or are in talks with other clubs.
"I have to say that disappointingly from our point of view, most of the targets we hoped to sign by January 2 are now not available, having either decided not to join us or ventured on a new negotiation elsewhere," Allardyce told the club's official website.
"We've been at it for six weeks now and my need is ever more desperate than the position we're in for new players in January, but our desire to get new players in has fallen because most clubs don't want to loan players or let them go.
"We hope we will get new recruits but they have to be good enough.
"If I pick a player who is not good enough then everybody will destroy him before he starts, so I need to pick a player who can hit the ground running from the start and do the business from the beginning. That's the issue.
"We didn't want to have to sign any players in January but it looks like we might have to.
"More important than recruiting new players is getting our injured players fit as soon as possible."