Neil Young hopes the departure of forgotten man Michael Powell will allow him to bring in the players he believes will help Chester FC finally see off the threat of sole title rivals Guiseley.
Powell, who has spent the last two months on loan at Curzon Ashton, is on the verge of leaving for good.
Finances are tight at the Exacta Stadium as the Blues are projected to lose up to £75,000 this season.
But Young wants to use the money saved on Powell’s wages to make at least one addition to a squad he feels needs strengthening for the run-in.
Witton Albion are leading the chase for the midfielder.
“Michael knows he’s not going to play when he comes back and to be fair to the lad, he doesn’t want to sit in the stands,” said Chester boss Young, who is working to the same budget as he was given at the start of the season.
“I expect Michael to cancel his contract by mutual consent as there are three clubs in for him.
“The money we save from Michael will hopefully go to bringing another player in.
“We believe there are one or two areas we need to strengthen between now and the end of the season if we’re going to get over the line.
“We’re good in the striking area and we’re pretty strong in midfield centrally. But out wide we don’t have many options and, after losing Craig Curran, apart from Dave Hankin we don’t have anyone else who is an attacking right midfielder.
“Hopefully we’ll find some money to rectify that. But if we do, it’s going to have to come from within the squad.”
The Blues stretched their lead at the top to 17 points on Saturday by drawing 0-0 with a defensive Brackley Town team.
Young reckons the result has ruled third-placed Brackley out of the championship reckoning.
But the double title-winning boss will not be writing off second-placed Guiseley in a hurry.
Steve Kittrick’s side, who have five games in hand to cut the gap, have signalled their intent by making a string of impressive January signings – including one-time Chester target Phil Marsh from Forest Green Rovers.
Young said: “The job is far from done. Guiseley have gone out in the window and spent good money on bringing in good players from the Conference.
“They are really going for it.”
The Blues, who are without a match this weekend, will play a behind-closed-doors friendly against Airbus UK Broughton on Monday.
Tranmere Rovers, meanwhile, have agreed to switch their Cheshire Senior Cup quarter-final tie against Chester from Prenton Park to the Exacta.
The last-eight clash will take place on Monday, March 4 (7.45pm).