McDermott is looking to sign an established player to assist the club's battle against relegation, but denied Welbeck is on his wish list. The 22-year-old is behind Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez in the Old Trafford pecking order, leading to speculation he would be loaned to another club until the end of the season.
McDermott distanced himself from one of the more unlikely transfer stories of the January window. "I can't see Sir Alex Ferguson sending Danny out to any club. I don't know where this has came from, it's got nothing to do with me," McDermott said.
He added: "Welbeck's a great player and I'm sure Sir Alex Ferguson thinks he's a great player too. Everyone in the country thinks that."
Reading have already signed midfielders Daniel Carrico and Hope Akpan during the transfer window and McDermott hopes to make one further addition.
"We're still looking for an experienced player and if we can find one who has played some games in the division that would be good for us," he said. "It's never easy to find a player like that, but it's definitely on the agenda."
The arrival of former Portugal Under-21 international Carrico, who had fallen out of favour at Sporting Lisbon, and Hope Akpan from npower League One club Crawley has been greeted with a lukewarm response from supporters.
"The fans were probably critical when we signed two players from Cork many years ago - Kevin Doyle and Shane Long," said McDermott, who is continuing to track Central Coast Mariners attacking midfielder Tomas Rogic and Swansea striker Danny Graham.
"I believe that if the player's got qualities and can play in the Premier League then whatever division they come from it doesn't matter. Daniel Carrico looks ready for a start and he says he is. He's a good player, can pass well, reads danger and is a leader. We feel that in Hope Akpan we've got another young lad who can do really well for us."