Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal insists he has enough options at centre-half Getty

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has played down the possibility of bringing in defensive reinforcements during the January transfer window, insisting he has enough options at the back.

United moved into the top three of the Premier League for the first time since August 2013 on after sealing an unconvincing 2-1 win over Southampton on Monday 8 December.

Van Gaal saw his side succumb to the 43<sup>rd injury of their season after Chris Smalling suffered what is believed to be a muscle tear, while 19-year-old defender Paddy McNair was taken off after 39 minutes following an unconvincing display as part of a back three.

United's decision not sign an established centre-half following the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic has remained under scrutiny amid their troubles at the back this season.

Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels and Atletico Madrid's Diego Godin have been touted as possible solutions ahead of the January transfer window but Van Gaal insists he will not be pressurised into buying.

When asked if Michael Carrick's return to defence during the win over Southampton was an indication of United's lack of options at centre-half, Van Gaal responded: "I don't understand your question. Maybe you can open you ear. What is the meaning of your question? That you have to buy players? No. We have more than enough [defenders] at the club," the Daily Telegraph report.

Van Gaal's options of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Tyler Blackett, Marcos Rojo, Smalling and McNair have all had spells on the sidelines this season amid the injury crisis that has disrupted his plans.

Last week, a number of reports suggested the United manager will have a £100m transfer budget at his disposal to further strengthen his squad after the club spent £150m during the summer transfer window.

But the Dutchman later described such reports as "disrespectful", playing down talk of a busy January for the club.

"I think it's disgusting, always writing about numbers," the Dutchman told reporters on Saturday 6 Decmeber.

"I don't think that [United executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward said anything about that; I don't think I have said anything about that.

"It is disrespectful to my players and I don't like to talk about it. I have to work with the selection I have and I have respect for my selection and I believe in my players."