West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has aired his frustration with the January transfer window after seeing another potential signing slip away.
The Hammers' attempts to strengthen their squad this month have been dogged by near misses and disappointment, in addition to unwanted speculation regarding the future of one of the club's more influential players in Ravel Morrison.
The club were seemingly on the verge of securing a loan deal for Monaco striker Lacina Traore before the Ligue 1 club opted to send their new signing to Everton instead, while a hopeful bid for Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has been hampered by interest from clubs across the continent.
With Roger Johnson the sole addition to the first team squad, Allardyce maintains that the club will bring in players who can "hit the ground running," but accepts such moves may have to wait until the eleventh hour of the transfer window.
"Frustrated is an understatement in the amount of deals we've tried to do in the last six to eight weeks," Allardyce told a press conference, the London Evening Standard report.
"There are very few deals happening across the board at the moment because it's difficult to get top players at this level at this particular time.
"Later in the window things generally get a bit easier in financial terms, in that clubs want to move the players on. That's why you get a flood of deals in the last few days of the window.
"Our need is to produce a really good signing that can hit the ground running and have an impact right away."
Sat 18th in the Premier League, West Ham were given an additional headache after Fulham made a reported bid of £4m for Morrison. The distraction was further exacerbated by comments from Cottagers boss Rene Meulensteen who claimed the former Manchester United starlet was keen on a move to west London, a move which prompted the Hammers to make a formal complaint to the Premier League.
"I would think that across the country there is a player at every football club made unsettled because of January and this lunatic transfer window which creates havoc throughout the game," Allardyce said.
"There are rumours that somebody is after your player or you are after somebody else's player and that creates a stir within your club, which is unhealthy based on how many important games you have in this period."
"For us, it's been particularly difficult with the problems we are facing and the transfer window adds to that but it is a problem we have to deal with."