Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal could continue spending spree with January move for Diego Godin

United have struggled with injuries in defence this season and could look to the La Liga winner to strengthen their squad further

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The Independent Football

Manchester United are targeting Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin in a bid to strengthen their shaky and injury-hit defence with a January move for the centre-back believed to be in the pipeline.

United’s defence has proven fragile this season since Louis van Gaal replaced David Moyes as manager, with the club suffering no fewer than 40 injuries this season – predominantly in defence. The likes of Luke Shaw, Marcus Rojo and Jonny Evans have been severely hampered by injuries this season, and the England left-back suffered a latest setback in the victory over Arsenal.

With Phil Jones also absent and both Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair hugely inexperienced, Van Gaal is likely to move to strengthen the defence in January and continue United’s unprecedented spending spree this season.


That could lead the Dutchman to the Atletico defender, who impressed last season during the club’s triumphant La Liga campaign as well as the run to the Champions League final, where Godin scored the goal that secured the title in the final league game against Barcelona as well as Atletico’s loe goal in the 4-1 defeat to rivals Real Madrid in the European showcase match.

United have been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, although the World Cup winner has also attracted interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona, while they are also believed to have scouted Basle’s Fabian Shar and Dynamo Kiev’s Aleksandar Dragovic, according to the Daily Mail.

The club, who are looking to rebound from last season’s dismal 7th-place finish, could move into the top three with a victory over Stoke tonight, but despite an up-turn in form of late they look set to continue their lavish spending this campaign.

The additions of Angel di Maria, Shaw, Rojo, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and loan-signing Radamel Falcao helped surpass the £150m barrier, and a move for Godin could see that figure rise dramatically. United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is reported to be ready to be negotiate a fee for the 28-year-old Uruguayan, although they could be forced to meet his £28m release clause if they want to speak to him.

Godin celebrates scoring for Atletico Madrid

There was a boost for Van Gaal ahead of the festive period – which he has already admitted he is not a fan of – in that Evans returned to action on Monday night has he played in the  Under 21 match between United and Southampton. Evans has not played since September due to an ankle injury he suffered in the shock 5-3 defeat to Leicester, but his return would give Van Gaal more options at the back with Chris Smalling, Rojo and Michael Carrick currently filling the back-three in Van Gaal’s favourite 3-5-2 formation.