Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is growing increasingly frustrated over his bid to bring Argentinian full-back Marcos Angeleri to the Barclays Premier League.
Angeleri qualifies for an EU passport through his Italian father and therefore will not need a work permit. However, the document is yet to be issued and that is a complication Bruce admits he could do without as he attempts to re-shape his squad for the new season.
He said: "With Marcos, the big problem when you are trying to sign them, of course, is work permit issues. He has got an Italian father and he is waiting for an Italian passport. We were told a month ago it was going to be here in within 10 days."
He added: "That's obviously a concern to me because we were told we were going to get it three weeks ago and it's still not here.
"We will look at it and we will have a conversation again with the agents and see where we end up."
Should the transfer go through, Angeleri would be the fourth new arrival at the Stadium of Light this summer with Paraguay international midfielder Cristian Riveros, Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and loan signing Ahmed Al-Muhammadi already on board.
Bruce is currently awaiting an answer from former England defender Sol Campbell, and has several other irons in the fire with defence currently his main focus.
However, he is not looking for a direct replacement for skipper Lorik Cana, who made a shock move to Turkish side Galatasaray last week after just 12 months with Sunderland.
Bruce is confident that in Riveros, Lee Cattermole and Jordan Henderson he has the men to cover for the Albania international despite the long-term absence of promising Irishman David Meyler with a serious knee injury.
He said: "The one thing I am gutted about is the injury to Meyler, because he had a wonderful end of the season and had put big pressure on Cana with his performances. But with Riveros coming and Cattermole and the emergence of Jordan Henderson too, I wasn't really that fussed."