Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn would like the bulk of their signings made by July.
Paraguay international midfielder Cristian Riveros has already signed and deals agreed for Belgium Under 21 goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Argentinian defender Marcos Angeleri.
Quinn told the Sunderland Echo: "In an ideal world, any signing we are going to make should be in before we go to Portugal.
"Of course, it's rarely as easy as that and we'll have scope to bring in players further on down the line if that turns out to be what happens.
"But we're in a position now where we pretty much know exactly who we want and we can go out to try and get them in early.
"Last season, we were trying to do transfer business right up to the end of August but I'm not going to do that again this year."