Tony Pulis says West Brom are likely to have to wait until the end of the January window to pick up the "crumbs" in the transfer market.
Chairman Jeremy Peace is thought to be willing to allow head coach Pulis to bring in additions, but only if players are moved off the wage bill first.
Pulis is hopeful reinforcements can brought in to The Hawthorns, although he is not expecting quick activity.
"If we move people out, I'm hoping we get a little bit of money to reinvest, because we need to," Pulis told BBC West Midlands.
"But we have to move people out before we can move people in. The chairman showed in the last window that, unless a deal is right, he won't do it.
"We're not in a position where we can spend millions blowing everyone out of the water, where we can go out and offer people £100,000 a week.
"We're sat on the top table but we feed off the crumbs. You have to understand that.
"You have to wait for those crumbs to drop off the table and that hopefully you're in the right place at the right time to pick them up.
"And that doesn't happen at the start of a meal. That usually happens at the end of the meal."