Sir Alex Ferguson has attempted to explain why he doesn't expect Manchester United to do any transfer business this month - and that includes signing Frank Lampard from Chelsea.
After successive losses to Blackburn and Newcastle, once again the issue of United's squad is the subject of hot debate amongst Red Devils supporters. Midfield is an obvious area of concern, which has only heightened since the retirement of Paul Scholes and subsequent long-term absences of Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher.
Although Lampard does not appear to be one of Andre Villas-Boas' favourites at Stamford Bridge, Ferguson moved to somewhat dispel the rumours, saying: "You are not going to tell me Chelsea would sell Frank Lampard to Manchester United in January. Do you really believe that?"
He added: "There is no foundation to that. Chelsea are like us. They want to do something. The second half of the season is going to be important to them.
"If they want to try and win the league they will need to have all their best players."
Tellingly, Ferguson's comments did not convey a lack of interest, just a belief Chelsea would want to keep Lampard.
The same could be said of many potential targets, which is why he believes it is better to trust the players at his disposal, even though defeat in Sunday's FA Cup tie at Manchester City would pile even more pressure on the men from Old Trafford.
"The thing is, what can you get in January?" he said. "I have said this all the time. The players who are available that we would like, we won't get.
"What do you do? Do you take a second-rate player? No, of course you don't. The injury situation has accelerated a lot of our fans into saying we will have to get someone.
"I would rather stick with the ones I have got than bring someone in who ends up not having a game anyway because they are not good enough."