Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has warned he will not wait all summer for players to sign new deals.
Robinson has captured Livingston defender Declan Gallagher and Inverness midfielder Liam Polworth within the last fortnight and is close to another signing.
The likes of Alex Gorrin, Elliott Frear, Chris Cadden, Curtis Main and Carl McHugh are out of contract in the summer while Robinson has already admitted that winger Jake Hastie appears very unlikely to sign a new deal.
Gboly Ariyibi and Tom Aldred are on loans which could potentially be turned into permanent deals but Robinson is continuing to look elsewhere.
“We have offered contracts to five or six people, verbally and written,” he said.
“Those contracts can only stay on the table so long. I am signing players so that money won’t remain there forever.
“They have got agents who are searching around. That’s the game they play, the money won’t be there forever. We will move on. I have to protect Motherwell Football Club, not wait for people too long, otherwise, I will miss out on targets.
“I haven’t set specific deadlines but if anyone else appears that we feel can do the same job, we will sign them.”
Robinson, who confirmed injured Aston Villa loan striker Ross McCormack would not be back this season or be joining in the summer, added: “If we compete with anybody in the league outside of maybe the bottom two, we are going to lose out. Players go for finances.
“Whatever way you dress it up, they have a short career and you can’t blame them, and we can’t compete with people. So we do our business early and that’s the reason we do it early.
“We leave one or two slots, we might get someone who comes up from the Premier League from England quite late on and we leave a bit of money back for that, and that’s usually the top end of the pitch.
“We have managed to get two done and we have another one we will perhaps announce next week that we have nearly got done. So we are well on the way to building.”
Robinson is also looking to build from within and promised to introduce more young players in the final five games of the Ladbrokes Premiership season.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Hamilton, he said: “I think we will have eight academy boys involved in the 18.
“We have to have a fine line between blooding young boys and finishing as high as we can.
“I have to see whether some of the young boys can come in and be first-team players or do I need to send them back out on loan again.”