Colchester United manager Joe Dunne could wait until the emergency loan market reopens before bolstering his defensive options.

But the U’s boss has not ruled out signing a new centre-back on a permanent basis in this month’s transfer window.

Dunne has set his sights on bringing in cover for Magnus Okuonghae and Tom Eastman, at the heart of the Colchester back four.

With Josh Thompson still recovering from ankle surgery, the U’s boss is light on cover at centre-back.

But with the budget tight, Dunne said he may bide his time until the emergency loan system reopens next month before making his move.

Dunne said: “Centre-back is still an issue that we’ll be trying to resolve and there are one or two things that I’m working on.

“We’re close but it’s a case of getting the right one in.

“At the moment, I think I’ll probably go for the loan with a centre-back when the loan window opens.

“But there are one or two other options that we’re looking at.

“We have a couple of players training with us at the moment and we’ll see what happens.

“There’ll be one or two areas that we will need to strengthen but it’ll be a quiet window because of finances.

“I’ve spoken to the chairman and it’s a case of looking at the positions and which ones we have coming back to fitness.”