Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho ruled out signing a defender in January despite the departure of Eric Bailly for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Premier League giants have been linked with moves for Southampton's Jose Fonte and Benfica's Victor Lindelof to help cover for Ivory Coast international Bailly.
But Mourinho said he planned to back Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones while Bailly is away.
"I'll wait for Bailly. I hope the three can control the situation in those eight matches," he told UK newspapers.
"I will try to rest one in every game. On Saturday I will rest one, against Hull another - and we'll try to make a rotation between these three.
"We still have Daley Blind as the fourth defender in case we need him to play there and we also have Michael Carrick, so let's try."
United face a busy month, beginning with Saturday's clash at home to Reading in the FA Cup.