The Gunners want to bring Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez to the Emirates, but are reluctant to part with a fee for the 25-year-old.
And Emery has confirmed the club are only looking for temporary signings.
"We cannot sign anyone permanently," Emery said ahead of the Gunners' game against West Ham on Saturday. "Only loan players this January."
Asked specifically about Suarez, Emery added: "I do not know his situation.
"But I know the club is working for the possibility of players who can help us with this condition (on loan)."