Caley Thistle manager John Robertson says players will have to exit Caledonian Stadium in order for him to add fresh faces this month.
Robertson has held discussions with a number of players who are out of contract this summer, including defender Coll Donaldson.
Among the other players coming towards the end of their current deals are Jamie McCart, Tom Walsh, Jordan White and Charlie Trafford.
Robertson is keen to keep the bulk of his squad intact but the Caley Jags manager is drawing up contingency plans should players leave during the January transfer window.
He said: “We’re actively looking around to strengthen all positions, but we’re very much of a place and budget where one has to go out before one comes in.
“If nobody goes out, I’ll be delighted. I’m happy to work with the squad we’ve got.
“We do have targets in mind, in case we lose anybody as you always have to do. You always need to be proactive, rather than reactive.
“That’s where we are. We’re not wanting anyone to leave and not expecting anyone to leave, but we’ve been working quietly in the background to put plans in place, just in case something surprises us.”
One player looking likely to depart is on-loan Middlesbrough forward Mitch Curry, whose loan deal expires later this month.
Curry’s impact has been limited by an ankle ligament injury he suffered shortly after making the temporary switch from the English Championship club, with the 20-year-old making six starts and a further nine substitute appearances, netting twice.
Curry’s loan deal is due to expire later this month but Robertson says the attacker could return to the Riverside earlier than expected, adding: “Mitch is due to go back to Middlesbrough on January 25.
“Since he has come back up north from his injury, he has been out of sorts. He’s keen to get back down the road.
“He will probably be involved against Dundee on Saturday and then we’ll have a chat with Middlesbrough and see where we go from there.”
Robertson has been boosted by the return of midfielders Sean Welsh (broken metatarsal) and Tom Walsh (hamstring) to training, with Caley Jags nearing a full compliment.
He added: “Sean is back in training with the squad. He is still a fair bit off, so we will try to arrange a friendly or two before he can be involved.
“Tom is also back training with the squad. He had a virus last week, but he’ll train. Saturday will certainly come too early for him.
“But with them both back, we have everybody in training now although not all available for selection just yet.”