Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has ruled out making any new signings in the January transfer window.
City, who play Burnley on Tuesday, have not kept a clean sheet in their last seven games and are 11 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
There has been some surprise at veteran Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho being deployed in defence this season.
“I like Fernandinho playing in that position a lot,” said Guardiola. “I prefer him there. That’s why he plays.”
City’s central defence appears to be a clear area of weakness – they failed to buy a replacement for skipper Vincent Kompany in the summer, lost Aymeric Laporte to injury and have opted not to play Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones together in any game since September.
It will not prompt Guardiola to strengthen his squad in the transfer window, though. Instead he intends to stick with 34-year-old Fernandinho as his first-choice centre-half.
“I don’t want any players in January,” Guardiola said.