The transfer window opens tomorrow with the Baggies eager to land the prolific centre-forward they have been missing all season.
The Express & Star understands Orlando City’s Daryl Dike remains their number one target.
And Ismael doesn’t want his search for a striker to drag on into the closing stages of the window.
“In a perfect picture, in a perfect world, it’s good when you can get the player in as quick as possible,” he said.
“Our job now is to understand what we want and get what we want as quickly as possible.
“The window is open and we must work intensely to get what we want.
“That’s my purpose. In the first week, if you can get what you want early it’s always the best thing.
“You can work with the player and we have got a lot of games.
“It’s not our purpose to wait until the last days. If we can get things done earlier, we will make sure we can do it.”
Dike was prolific playing under Ismael at Barnsley last season.
Asked directly if he wants a reunion with the American, the boss said: “I know him from last season at Barnsley, but I can’t comment on any names.
“We do our job behind the scenes, we work on our list and we have a clear picture.
“We know what we have to do, we have a priority.
“We must get the first job done.”
Ismael was also asked if he would be content to only sign a striker this month.
“It’s clear that our energy is focused on our priority – we need to get that done first,” he added.
“The second one is clear, in going and out going.
“We don’t need to have a big, big, squad because if you have too big a squad you will have players that aren’t satisfied and a lot of negativity can come around the training ground.
“We need to make all the people happy so we need to assess all the situations especially with players coming back from injury.”