English giants Manchester United are reportedly considering a move for Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin in the January transfer window.

Manager Louis van Gaal has so far had to make do with an injury riddled defence at Old Trafford since he took over the reins of the Red Devils from David Moyes during the summer. With Luke Shaw, Rafael da Silva, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, and Marcos Rojo all being on and off the field due to niggles , and new signing Daley Blind latest to join the injury-list, the Dutch manager is yet to field a consistent last four.

His attempts to bring in Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund and Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal proved futile in the summer. With the German defender now playing a key role in Jurgen Klopp’s relegation struck side, and the Belgian centre back having joined Barcelona in August, reports in the Telegraph suggest that Van Gaal has diverted his attention towards Godin.

The Uruguayan defender has had an impressive four years with the Red and Whites having made 164 appearances for them across all competitions since he moved to the Vicente Calderon Stadium outfit from Villarreal in 2010.

The 28-year-old, who was a part of Diego Simeone’s side that won the Europa League in 2012, La Liga last season and were the Champions League’s runner-up, is under contract with the Spanish club until June 2018, but with a reported release clause of €36 million, Manchester United will be hoping to snap up the player once the window opens in the New Year.

United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, had already told the club’s investors last month that despite having a few targets lined up, they would only be interested in signing any new players on a long term basis, and will not get on the field for any short-term solutions to their defensive woes.

We’re not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes,” he was quoted as saying by Telegraph.

However, we have targets that we are looking at for next summer and should any of those become available in January, which is rare, we will consider acting.”

Aston Villa centre back Ron Vlaar, who has previously played under Van Gaal with the Netherlands national team and was a part of the Dutch side that went to Brazil for the World Cup this year, is also on Manchester United’s radar. His contract with the Claret and Blues is due to expire next summer, and the 29-year-old has not yet agreed to an extension which might give United a chance to sneak the player in at a reduced rate, should the Godin deal fail to come through.