David Moyes is expecting Phil Jones will return from injury soon to provide another option in midfield.
The versatile defender has produced some outstanding displays in a more advanced role but sustained a knee problem over the Christmas period. There has been plenty of transfer talk regarding central midfielders but it is clear that the England international can be an effective shield to the back four.
"Phil is getting better [in his recovery from injury]," stressed Moyes. "He's coming on.
"He’s played a very important role and it’s important we get him back because he can do different roles for us. He’s coming on and I don’t think he’s too far away."
When quizzed on the January window again, Moyes refuted suggestions he made a summer bid for Roma's Daniele De Rossi and reiterated that it will be easier to do any dealings in the close season.
"I think most of the business will be done towards the summer time rather than in January," he explained. "But obviously we'll keep looking.
"We thought De Rossi was a good player and certainly thought about bringing him in in the summer. I don’t think it did go [as far as making a bid] because I think there was a deadline on his contract or something like that. I can't remember exactly.
"I don’t talk about players at other clubs. I think it’s wrong to do that. But you’ve asked me a direct question on him and that’s all the answer I can give you on it."
England Under-21 international Nick Powell has also been suggested as another option to be drafted into the midfield area, even though he has been impressing for Wigan Athletic in an attacking role during his loan.