LONDON (Reuters) - Harry Redknapp is renowned for his wheeling and dealing in the January transfer window but admits mid-season signings represent a gamble for the Premier League's struggling clubs.
With his Queens Park Rangers side hovering just above the relegation zone ahead of this weekend's trip to second-bottom Burnley, the former West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur boss is expected to be active in the window.
However, with a restricted budget he will be forced to look for loan signings such as Mauro Zarate who arrived this week from West Ham until the end of the campaign.
"It's a difficult one isn't it, spending big money in January," Redknapp told a news conference on Thursday.
"We brought some players in during the summer so we are looking for loans, and that's difficult because you are taking gambles when you sign players on loan in January.
"If you are signing Wilfried Bony from Swansea you are not taking a gamble because he's a top class striker but he'll cost you 25 or 30 million pounds. If you take people who clubs are willing to let go on loan there has to be a question mark.
"People don't loan players out unless there's a reason. Anyone who you think is useful to your team you don't let go out on loan at this stage of the season."
Redknapp has made some noteworthy signings in January at previous clubs. While in charge of Portsmouth in 2008 he plucked Jermain Defoe from Tottenham and a year later he signed the likes of Niko Kranjcar and Peter Crouch for Tottenham.
This time he has precious little to spend.
Redknapp's immediate priority is the trip to Burnley, who despite their lowly position in the table have been playing some impressive football in recent weeks.
QPR have an appalling away record, failing to win a point on their travels this season, and Redknapp said his team need to start picking up points on the road.
"Burnley are a good outfit," Redknapp said of Burnley who were promoted along with QPR last season.
"We are all down there scrapping away to stay in the division and it's another big game.
"We've had loads of those at home recently, we played Burnley, West Brom, Leicester at home and it went very well for us, but now we've got to play them all away so we have to make sure we get some points."
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Justin Palmer)