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Sir Alex plays down chances of signing a defender

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted it is highly unlikely he will move into the transfer market to plug defensive gaps this January.

The Red Devils have suffered severely with injuries this season, and at one stage had only Patrice Evra fit as a recognised, experienced defender.

Sir Alex revealed this week that John O'Shea faces another two months on the sidelines, but both Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand are nearing a return after Rafael, Wes Brown and Nemanja Vidic all made comebacks recently.

"Inevitably, people look to this month's transfer window as a solution to our injury worries but it is not the answer," Ferguson told the Manchester Evening News. "If someone could give me the name of a really good centre-half who would accept a three-month contract then I would jump at the chance. But where do you find a player like that?

"A decent player would be looking for a three-year contract and I don't need that kind of addition.

"It is difficult enough leaving good players out of the team without adding another to the mix, so I won't be looking for a senior player to ease our defensive crisis.

"Hopefully the worst is over anyway and we can get some stability at the back. Once we do that I am sure we will make up the ground we have lost."

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