Manchester United are considering making a bid for Norwegian defender Vergard Forren, according to local reports, with the young defender believed to be a possible long-term replacement for Rio Ferdinand.

Ferdinand has been somewhat inconsistent for the Red Devils over the past year, with the England international suffering from injury problems of late.

Forren, meanwhile, has starred for Molde since his move to the club in 2007, and made a huge contribution to the side as they lifted the domestic trophy in Norway two seasons in a row.

The Manchester Evening News are reporting that Forren is high on Sir Alex Ferguson's wishlist for January, despite the United manager claiming that there wouldn't be any business taking place in the typically-overpriced winter transfer window.

United have displayed some of their worst defending under Ferguson's 26-year reign this season. While Nemanja Vidic has been out of action, Ferdinand has failed to take a leading role and provide stability in the side's backline.

Vegard Forren
Vegard Forren is a target for Manchester United, according to local reports.

Ferguson has argued in the past that the 34-year-old needs to change his style of play if he hopes to continue to retain a starting spot in the United squad, and so far his performances have brought mixed results. United have kept just four clean sheets in 25 games this season.

If Forren could quickly adapt to the Premier League, he would no doubt be an asset for United, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who currently manages the Norway international, says he's already had a lot of interest in his star defender.

"We haven't received any offer for Vegard. But there are many who have enquired about Vegard. I am expecting that we might receive an offer in January," he told Romsdals Budstikke.

"Either we get good offers for Vegard when the transfer window opens or we will be happy to keep him in Molde. We are not depending on player sales for financial reasons."

Sojksjaer has said in the past that he believes Forren is capable of being a United player, admitting in October: "Yes, he could play for Manchester United, but I don't have to tell him that. At his best he is a very good footballer."