Is this a sign Manchester United won't sign a defender in January?

Old Trafford 3

Tyler Blackett is reportedly on the verge of a new contract at Manchester United.

There are widespread reports this morning that Manchester United will hand Tyler Blackett a new long term deal at Old Trafford in a decision which could hint at Louis van Gaal’s January plans.

“Manchester United are ready to give Tyler Blackett a new contract,” reports the Mail.

“But United boss Louis van Gaal has recommended to the board that the youngster is rewarded for his breakthrough into the first team with a deal representative of his new standing.”

“Van Gaal believes he has a future at Old Trafford.”

United’s defence has been criticised heavily although five of the ten goals conceded so far came in a single game against Leicester City, with that infamous 5-3 away defeat.

Blackett was drafted into the first team at the start of the season due to injuries but he’s worked hard and looks to be a better player for the experience of being thrown in at the Premier League’s deep end.

What’s made his progress more impressive is that he’s played in two different systems under van Gaal; a flat back four and the three man defensive system the side started the season with.

Several transfer reports have linked United with moves for centre-backs with one of the most high profile being Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.

However, Hummels admitted recently that he wouldn’t leave BVB if he didn’t like the style of play a side was using and it would be a very difficult deal for United to pull off.

A new deal for Blackett could be a show of faith from United that the boss isn’t concerned about buying a new defender because he feels he already has a good player he can work with.

For a central defender to come in via the transfer market, one will more than likely have to make way and it’s not going to be Blackett if he signs on the dotted line of a new deal.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch