WREXHAM manager Denis Smith wants to sign winger Josh Johnson, but admits he can't afford to spend what remains of his budget following the long-term injury sustained by striker Lee McEvilly.
The 24-year-old Trinidadian has impressed during a trial spell with the Dragons and will start tonight's friendly against Manchester City at the Race-course, but Smith is resigned to missing out on the former under-21 international.
With McEvilly sidelined for possibly three months after breaking his foot for a third time, Wrexham will have to consider signing a short-term replacement on loan and Smith also has money set aside to offer Basque crowd-pleaser Juan Ugarte acon-tract if he proves his fitness over the course of the next month or six weeks.
"Josh certainly looks the part, he has the pace to shoot past people and he gives us that little bit extra on the right," said the Dragons boss.
"But it's a question of finding the money. The Shropshire Reds fan club is paying for his hotel accommodation and all the supporters' groups have been very supportive.
"Last season the (Wrexham Supporters) Trust were giving the club £3,000 a month, which helped enormously, and I'm waiting to find out whether that money will be forthcoming this season.
"The fact is that if Lee had not been injured, there would be no need to keep money back for a loan player, but if I decide to spend the remainder of the budget on Josh that would mean us missing out on Ugarte, who is a proven goalscorer at our level.
"I'd like to think that the supporters could help me out, but I appreciate there's a limit to what they can do."
WST board member Rob Griffiths said Trust members voted recently to convert the £3,000 monthly donation payment into a loan scheme once the club had come out of administration and confirmed discussions about the change in terms were being held with incoming owners, Neville Dickens and Geoff Moss.
"The monthly payment is not being made at the moment pending the outcome of the talks with Nev and Geoff," added Griffiths, who also pointed out that the Trust's primary objective was to raise £250,000 in order to buy a stakeholding in the club.
"We are well on the way to that target and as soon as the club is ready with its equity launch, that money will be available to buy a stake for the fans," he said.
Wrexham will be without defender Steve Evans for tonight's match against Stuart Pearce's Premiership outfit, but are likely to play a 4-4-2 line-up.
Evans, who has a slight groin strain, won't be risked while Ryan Valentine, Shaun Pejic and Mark Jones are nursing bumps and bruises from the weekend match with Liverpool.
"I don't think there are any major problems, but we'll have to see who we have got," added Smith.
"Everyone who is fit will get a run-out again and we'll switch from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2. I might trysomething different again in Northern Ireland on Saturday.
"Then we'll sit down and decide how we are going to play next season and which players we feel are best for the job.
"I'm hoping there will be another decent crowd for the game, which will be another major test for us.
"City have always had good players and with this being their first friendly I would imagine they will have a few of their new signings on show."
In addition to Johnson, Smith is hoping to give run-outs to two other trialists, who are both strikers. Ex-Rochdale man Blair Sturrock has been at Colliers Park since the beginning of the week, joining former Crewe player Kyle Wilson, who is battling a thigh strain.
Admission at the turnstiles tonight is £10 (£5 concessions).
Wrexham reserves take on Cymru Alliance outfit Gresford Athletic at Clappers Lane tomorrow evening and are at Llandudno on Saturday afternoon.