Lee Bowyer reckons that Charlton could pay a transfer fee this summer – but only if it is to sign a young player.
The Addicks boss has had to rely on picking up players on frees or doing loan deals since taking charge.
The last time that Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet paid a transfer fee for a player was £270,000 for Josh Magennis in August 2016. And while Nicky Ajose also arrived that summer for £900,000, the club raised more than £12million with the sales of Ademola Lookman, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Jordan Cousins, Nick Pope and Morgan Fox.
Bowyer reckons that the Belgian owner could sanction a cash transfer – but that there would be certain requirements.
He said: “I think [we could] if we bring in the right person – and it would have to be a young player that we could maybe improve.
“That’s the only way. I don’t think the owner would let me bring in a 30-year-old – or go and buy one who has no sell-on [value].
“But for a young lad, we might be able to do that.”
Bowyer has spelled out the financial test facing Charlton as they head back into the Championship after a three-year absence.
“The challenge next season – and not a negative thing – has got to be to stay in the league,” he said.
“The challenge this season was to get promotion.
“It’s not going to be like that now – we’ll have the smallest budget in the league, for sure.
“Again, this is where recruitment has to be right. We have to bring in the right players. We need to bring in goals to play alongside Lyle [Taylor] and from other areas – we can’t just rely on strikers. Our midfielders will have to chip in as well.
“It’s going to be an important time over the next couple of months to get the right ones we need.”