Neal Ardley admits AFC Wimbledon’s search for a defensive signing could go right to the wire on transfer deadline day.
The Dons got the bulk of their business done early on in the transfer window to give the group time to gel during pre-season.
Six new players were signed this summer and Darius Charles turned his loan spell from Burton into a permanent move in the immediate aftermath of the play-off final triumph.
Ryan Clarke joined from Northampton as first-choice goalkeeper with Sean Kelly eventually signing a deal to become an option at left-back following a successful trial period.
Winger Chris Whelpdale and former Tottenham Hotspur youngster Dean Parrett have bolstered the Wimbledon midfield having joined from League Two side Stevenage.
Strikers Tyrone Barnett and Dominic Poleon are now proving competition up front in place of the departed Adebayo Akinfenwa and Ade Azeez.
However, manager Ardley has also lost one of his brightest talents at the back following Ryan Sweeney’s dream move to Premier League outfit Stoke City.
That has left Wimbledon short of numbers in defence and Ardley told Dons Player the fans shouldn’t be surprised to see someone come in before Wednesday night.
He said: “There is one particular position we want to strengthen because we lost Ryan Sweeney.
“We feel that we need to strengthen and we are looking at all different options. We’ve enquired about a few and we are getting to that stage when the one or two that we’ve identified as key targets need to come to fruition.
“If they do not we are going to be close to the wire. If something does happen in the last few days of the window, it has not just been plucked from the air. It will have been in the pipeline for a while, but it has taken time to get it done.
“In our eyes we want to get someone in who gives us flexibility in how we play, a player who can cope with the demands of the league, and help our younger players. Hopefully, by next Wednesday we will have some news on it.”
Meanwhile, returning pair Jon Meades and George Francomb are likely to be in the Dons squad for the match at Rochdale on Saturday after coming through 90 minutes in midweek.