'People have got to leave Plymouth Argyle so we can get players in'
ARGYLE manager Carl Fletcher is already preparing for a busy January transfer window.
Fletcher wants to strengthen a squad which has slipped from a safe mid-table position in League Two in mid-October to 20th and only one point outside the relegation zone.
The Pilgrims' boss has several targets in mind, including a permanent deal for Burnley's Alex MacDonald, who ended a three-month loan spell at Home Park this week.
However, Fletcher will have to balance the books when it comes to players moving in and out of the club.
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Argyle's experienced captain Darren Purse has been made available for transfer in January in an attempt to free up some money.
And first-year professionals Jordan Copp and Jed Harper-Penman have already been told their six-month contracts will not be renewed at the end of December.
Fletcher said: "We are looking to strengthen a few areas of the squad, to be honest.
"People have got to leave so we can get others in, to make sure there is money is available.
"It already starts now, with agents on the phone to us about players.
"We have been doing our homework over the last couple of months. There are a few people we are looking at and trying to make contact with. We will just see how it goes."
After the recent departures of Peterborough United left-back Scott Griffiths and MacDonald, Argyle have two remaining on-loan players.
They are Aldershot Town striker Guy Madjo, who is with the Pilgrims until after the Devon derby against Exeter City at St James' Park next Saturday, and Mark Molesley, the Bournemouth midfielder.
Molesley's loan spell is up to and including the away game against Accrington Stanley on December 22.
Madjo signed for Argyle on the morning of their 0-0 draw with Devon rivals Torquay United at Plainmoor on September 8.
It was initially for one month, but was later extended after he made a successful start to his time with the Pilgrims.
However, Madjo has fallen out of favour over recent weeks. The 28-year-old has not started a game since the 2-1 home defeat by Burton Albion on November 7.
Madjo has been limited to two substitute appearances in the following five matches.
Fletcher said: "Guy comes in and works hard every day. He has been a good pro while he has been here and we are glad to have him.
"With the way it has been with the games lately, he probably hasn't got the minutes he would have liked, but that's football. You can only pick 11."
Fletcher admitted Madjo had lost out to other players at times when it came to team selection because they were better at defending set pieces than him.
The Argyle manager described that as a 'frustrating' situation to be in but he said: "It's something you have to look into and adjust to because dead-ball situations are such a big part in the lower divisions."
Copp and Harper-Penman are both graduates of Argyle's youth set-up.
Copp, a 19-year-old central midfielder, has played for Argyle once at first team level, as a substitute in the League Cup first round tie against Millwall at Home Park in August 2011.
Harper-Penman, 18, has spent much of this season on loan to Southern League Premier Division club Bideford.
The winger made two substitute appearances for the Pilgrims near the end of their 2010/11 League One campaign.