Diego Godin
Atletico Madrid's Diego Godin (R) is the latest entrant into Louis van Gaal's expanding defender targets ahead of the January transfer window REUTERS

Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing the £28m rated Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin during the January transfer window.

According to the Daily Mail, Louis van Gaal is keen to bolster his defence during the upcoming transfer window and has added the Uruguayan defender to list of a number of potential targets.

The Old Trafford club have struggled with injuries to their defenders this season, and the manager has not been able to put out a settled back four.

United have been linked to a number of defenders in recent months, with Mats Hummels being the most frequently mentioned name, but the report claims that the Dutchman has also had Basel's Fabia Schar, Real Madrid's Rafael Varane and Dynamo Kiev star Aleksandar Dragovic watched with a view to a move during the transfer window.

Godin, who has been a key player for Atletico in recent seasons, played an important role in the Spanish capital club's run to the La Liga title and to the final of the Champions League last season. He has also featured for his club in every minute of every game this season.

The 28-year-old defender, who has four years remaining on his current contract, has a £28m release-clause and his current employers will be powerless to stop him from leaving if United agree to pay the required amount.

Meanwhile, despite all the problems, United have received some good news this week following the return of Marcos Rojo and striker Radamel Falcao. But they are still without the services of first-team defenders Phil Jones and Luke Shaw, due to which van Gaal is conducting a thorough search of the market for a top quality defender to ease his injury worries.