Championship outfit Birmingham City are likely to be working within a tight budget again this summer if their current owners remain at the helm, potentially a source of frustration for many of their supporters.
Even with their limited budgets though, Lee Bowyer and Craig Gardner managed to pull off some shrewd deals in recent windows and they will be hoping to do the same again in the coming months to give themselves the best possible chance of remaining in the second tier once again.
However, the West Midlands side may want to rely less on loan deals as they look to the long term – and this may mean they utilise the free-agent market quite heavily – with several bargains up for grabs if they move quickly enough.
In terms of outgoings, departures have already been confirmed with Jeremie Bela and Kristian Pedersen departing on the expiration of their contracts this summer, leaving more holes to fill in their squad after seeing their previous loanees return to their parent clubs.
Incomings will be needed and with this in mind, we’re taking a look at eight affordable second-tier players they could recruit.