Inter Milan said the current economic climate means they are unlikely to invest in new players during the January transfer window.
The Nerazzurri also hinted they could be negotiating with Wesley Sneijder, who is reportedly out of favour at the club.
Inter were held to a 2-2 draw by Cagliari on Sunday but have emerged as the biggest challengers to champions and leaders Juventus.
However that does not mean they are in the market to buy new players, according to technical director Marco Branca.
"It's not down to where we are in the table but there are other factors to consider, but at this moment in time there's no way we'll be investing in January for other reasons," he told www.inter.it.
"It's the same situation in many other industry sectors. We're in an economic crisis."
Sneijder has not played for Inter since injuring his thigh in September but joined the team for training last week in a sign that he is finally on his way back to full fitness.
However Italian media has speculated for weeks that the Dutch national team captain, who signed a five-year deal with Inter in 2010, is on his way out.
Asked whether the Dutchman now has less power in dictating his contract terms now the team are playing well, Branca added: "He's got a contract with us, so I don't think we can talk about contractual power.
"Even if there were other things to discuss relating to his contract terms, they wouldn't be due to the team playing well or not. Is it true we've asked him to take a pay cut? That's our business."
After their first draw of the season Sunday Andrea Stramaccioni's men remained second but are still four points off Juventus, who were held to a scoreless draw by Lazio on Saturday.
Stramaccioni was shown a red card at the end of the game for protesting after the referee failed to award a late penalty when Walter Gargano was fouled in the box.