Manchester United are contemplating making a move for Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin in January, according to a report in The Telegraph.
Because of a series of injury problems in defence, United are determined to add numbers to a depleted backline if they persist.
The likes of Rafael, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo have all spent time on the sidelines this season, and Van Gaal wants to bring in further quality in this position, as a result.
Godin is his top target to fill the void in his squad and United will not baulk at paying his release clause to leave his current club with no choice but to accept their offer.
The Uruguayan defender is available for £28.5 million because of a clause in his contract, and it is likely that United would have to the full amount if they are to make Atletico consider losing such key player for them.
Godin has established himself as one of the Spanish giants' most pivotal stars and has played a vital role in all the success that they have had in recent seasons.
However, a move to England could be an appealing one for the commanding centre-back and, with United currently in the top-four, they feel his arrival could strengthen their bid for a Champions League qualification spot.
Van Gaal's men have improved considerably of late, but there is still a feeling they are one or two world-class players of being able to put up a title-challenge and Godin would certainly be an upgrade on their current squad.
Although United added to their defence in the summer, there is still a weakness at the heart of their backline and Van Gaal is preparing to spend big again to resolve the problem.
Previously Ed Woodward had commented that it was unlikely that United would make any moves in the January transfer window, but injury struggles may have forced their hand and Godin's addition would be another exciting one at Old Trafford.