Report - Woodward to investigate availability of five Manchester United targets

Lugano, Muslera, Ramirez, Godin and Rios Uruguay

Manchester United are thought to be considering a number of possible January additions for their defence.

The Daily Mail claims Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has a shortlist of five defenders he’s keeping tabs on ahead of the January transfer window.

Manchester United’s defence has been one of the most criticised areas of Louis van Gaal’s squad since he took control of the club, but United appear ready to improve that area of the team.

It will be a bitter pill to swallow for the youngsters who have held the back four together over the first half of the season, but the addition of a top quality centre back could be just what the side needs to ensure they stay in their top four position.

“Diego Godin has emerged as a target for Manchester United when the transfer window re-opens next month,” reports the Mail.

“The Atletico Madrid star is one of several players being considered by Louis van Gaal as he looks to ease the defensive crisis at Old Trafford.”

“United are keen on Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels and have also watched Basle's Fabian Schar, Real Madrid youngster Raphael Varane and Dynamo Kiev star Aleksandar Dragovic.”

Those are five very good names who could do solid jobs for the United defence but it won’t be easy to sign any of them considering how important they are to their respective sides.

In the case of Hummels, there’s even reason to suggest United should stay clear because David Moyes had doubts over his speed and his Borussia Dortmund side are in relegation form in the Bundesliga at the moment.

A lot of the pressure is going to once again fall on the shoulders of executive vice chairman Ed Woodward who oversaw some big deals during the summer.

“United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will find out who is available in January, although the club could choose to meet Godin's £28million buy-out clause.”

Whoever United eventually go after, it’s important that player offers quality and experience in the short term but also shows the ability to help the youngsters who have been in the side, improve through the next stage of their careers.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch