Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert expects to complete the signing of no more than two players this month.
Villa are only one point above the relegation zone and have relied on a host of youngsters this season.
But Lambert does not want to pay over the odds in the January transfer window and, having reduced the wage bill, will not risk the club's financial future.
"I've spoken to [chairman Randy Lerner]. There are one or two lads that we will try to get," Lambert said.
"I understand the finances of it. The club cannot go into major debt.
"A lot is dictated by finance. We need a bit of strength in the middle of the pitch.
"Prices in January can be so inflated that you can pay through the nose for someone. We have to build this club and not let it go back to what has happened before."
His team have managed only four Premier League wins from their 21 matches this season and were beaten 3-1 at Bradford in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final on Tuesday.