Aston Villa must raise millions of pounds before the start of June to avoid becoming the first Premier League side to break Financial Fair Play regulations.
Dean Smith's team were the second biggest spenders in England during the summer, forking out a combined total of £133m, with Manchester United the only club to pay more in transfer fees. They posted a net loss of £36.1m for the 2017/18 campaign, but are yet to publish their accounts from last season.
According to the Daily Mail, the Midlands outfit came close to breaching the English Football League's profit and sustainability rules during 2018/19, the year they earned promotion back to the first division.
They were only spared after Villa Park was sold to a company owned by Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, who hold a majority share of the club. However, this time around, they could be forced to generate funds from player sales and wage cuts.
The Villans have been helped by the fact the Premier League have less restrictive spending limits than the EFL. The former permit clubs to lose a maximum of £35m-per-season, whereas the latter sets the limit at £13m each year.
Therefore, the newly-promoted side will be allowed to record a loss of £65m over the course of the last three campaigns, though they are currently failing to meet that target.
They will face a sanction unless they bring in extra revenue before their annual accounting period ends on 31 May, meaning Villa will have two weeks after the end of the campaign to sort out their finances.
Though he may have no choice but to sell some of his star players, Smith won't necessarily have to cash in during the January transfer window, courtesy of that additional two-week period at the start of the off-season.
It may be the case that no Premier League club has broken FFP regulations, but several EFL clubs have been handed a hefty fine in recent years, with Leicester City, Bournemouth, and Queens Park Rangers all falling foul of the authorities.