Manchester United are confident of signing Athletic Bilbaoa s young sensation Aymeric Laporte for 25 millions in this transfer window.

The defence of Manchester United is struggling badly this season and Louis van Gaal is desperate to sign the reinforcements this month to make sure that the club qualifies for UEFA Champions League next year.

Borussia Dortmunda s Mats Hummels and Atletico Madrida s Diego Godin are on top of Manchester Uniteda s wish list but their parent clubs are not likely to grant their transfers in the middle of the season. Manchester United have no option but to look elsewhere now and Ed Woodward believes that Athletic Bilbao youngster Aymeric Laporte is a realistic target for the club.

Aymeric Laporte, 20, is widely recognized as one of the most promising young defender of world football and is tipped to earn a call-up to the full France squad after impressing at youth level.

Meanwhile, reports coming from Spain and England have also confirmed that Manchester United are ready to offer A?25m for Aymeric Laporte.

The Daily Star has claimed today that Manchester United are closing in on a shock A?25m move for Athletic Bilbao star Aymeric Laporte. Aymeric Laporte, who is a boyhood Manchester United fan, is considered one of the best young defensive talents in the world.

Louis van Gaal splashed huge cash on new signings like Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao in the summer but he failed to land a specialist central defender.

The current central defenders of Manchester United, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young, are continuously troubled with injury problems this season and Louis van Gaal has been forced to change his defencive formations on a regular basis.

Louis van Gaal thinks that signing of one specialist central defender in January would help Manchester United qualify for Champions League directly but none of his top targets i.e. Hummels and Diego Godin, are available in the market. Hence, he is now forced to look elsewhere.

Meanwile, Athletic Bilbao are also not interested in selling Aymeric Laporte in the middle of the season but a lucrative offer by Manchester United could convince the management of Basque club to part their ways with the Frenchman.