Sunderland manager David Moyes expected to be able to invest during next month's transfer window as he bemoaned the lack of funds at the club.
Prior to Wednesday's 1-0 loss at home to Premier League-leading Chelsea, chief executive Martin Bain admitted there would be "very limited funds" for Moyes in January with the strugglers up for sale.
And the situation has left Moyes - who replaced Sam Allardyce in the off-season - frustrated as Sunderland languish in the relegation zone and fight for survival.
"I knew I had a short summer and I wasn't going to do much business in the summer, because it was really difficult," Moyes lamented.
"But I did expect to be able to do some business in January."
Asked if Sunderland's activity in the January transfer market would be minimal, Moyes added: "That's my understanding from what I have been told."
Cesc Fabregas' 40th-minute goal condemned Sunderland to back-to-back defeats.
Sunderland are now a point adrift at the foot of the table and four points away from safety.
"The job is to work with the tools we have got," Moyes said. "We have got the squad, they have been here before and done it before so we get this squad to win the games.
"If they keep performing like they did tonight - in some aspects, not all - it will give us a chance.
"We have been disappointing in one or two games but not that many. We have been in the games and in with a chance, and tonight we were in the game and in with a chance."