Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte believes his team still need two or three world-class players to close the gap to the Premier League’s leaders.
The champions are in a fight to claim a top-four finish, sitting fourth in the table but just two points ahead of Tottenham.
Chelsea signed six players in the close-season, but runaway league leaders Manchester City outspent the London club.
Conte said the club needed to avoid making such big changes to their squad, insisting their focus should be on adding top-class players.
“Now we have to struggle to fight for a Champions League place – that is top. We must be realistic. We must be strong to accept this type of situation,” the Italian told UK newspapers.
“Then, in the future, if there is the possibility, you have to try to buy only two or three players – not eight players.
“Don’t forget, this summer, we brought in eight players and spent a lot less than other teams who bought only two or three.”
Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge is also reportedly uncertain ahead of his side’s trip to Watford Monday.