Patrick Vieira says Crystal Palace must be “really smart” to compete with their rivals in the transfer market and warned lavish spending sprees like Chelsea’s are making life harder for the Premier League’s smaller clubs.
Vieira is looking to strengthen his squad this month, with the Eagles on a poor run of four defeats in five League games.
In particular, the Frenchman is desperate to improve his forward line, having watched his side fail to find the net in any of those four losses, but admitted securing his leading targets will be a challenge midseason.
"There are options to improve that side of the game [in the market], yes,” Vieira said. “It’s a really difficult window to find those players who can improve the squad.
“We managed to identify those players, the names of the players we wanted and now everything is in the hands of the football club to try to make it happen.
“We are working and they are working hard to try to bring those players.”
Palace’s recruitment last season was hailed as a major success, with the likes of Michael Olise, Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi all having significant impacts in their debut campaigns, while Conor Gallagher enjoyed a superb loan spell.
Vieira did not receive the same level of backing last summer, however, with midfielder Cheick Doucoure so far the only one of his new arrivals to become an established first-team regular.
By contrast, Palace’s latest defeat came on Sunday against a Chelsea side who have spent well over £400million since Todd Boehly’s takeover in May.
“What is important is that we know who we are as a football club and what we can achieve in the market,” Vieira said. “Chelsea are in a different level and we have to accept that but we can be really smart and work in a different way to find the players that fit the way we want to play.
“I think when you’re looking at the players we bring in our football club - Marc Guehi, Michael Olise, Cheick Doucoure - we can still do the same.”
Chelsea paraded new £89m signing Mykhaylo Mudryk ahead of Sunday’s defeat at Stamford Bridge, with Vieira expressing fears that such deals will inflate prices for other English clubs.
“Of course, it’s not going to make it easy,” he added. "When a Premier League team goes abroad to try and sign a player it becomes really difficult because the team will think we have the same spending [power] as another team. Of course, it makes it more difficult.”