Manchester United are looking for players to shore up their defensive prowess in the upcoming January transfer window and beyond, and there are no shortage of prospects on their board.
Although they've experienced some major boosts in the goal-scoring department with the arrival of Robin van Persie, defense has been an issue as injuries have hampered their back line.
Shoring up the defense is project No. 1 in the upcoming window and beyond, as they look for young talent to bolster their unit.
Let's take a look at some players United has their eye on that would improve their defense.
With injury problems piling up in recent seasons, adding a quality central defender such as Ezequiel Garay would be a very solid move for Manchester United.
The 26-year-old who plays for Benfica is looking to move, and United have been in the running for him according to Jason Le Miere of the International Business Times.
Garay has had experience with Real Madrid in his career, so there wouldn't be any worries of him not being up to the big stage. That part of the resume is very rare for young players that Man U are courting, so it could and should be a deal-maker as they may finally pull the trigger on this deal.
With Rio Ferdinand growing old and needing a replacement sooner rather than later, adding Garay to the fold makes perfect sense. He could be a long-term replacement for the Old Trafford icon.
In that same International Business Times report, Le Miere states Vegard Forren of Molde (Norway) could be on the move to the Premier League soon. And while he hasn't been directly linked to Manchester United, his manager made the claim that he's very worthy of playing on the top-tier club.
Forren, 24 years old, hasn't been able to get his name out there very much, playing in Norway his entire career. But EPL scouts are taking notice, and it shouldn't be long before he makes the switch to England.
Manchester United are historically great at snagging young, under-the-radar talent, and this could be an instance where Sir Alex Ferguson strikes his magic once again.
Although he's not a back line defender, Celtic's Victor Wanyama is a defensive-minded midfielder who is great at stifling possessions. Additionally, he has Manchester United on his personal radar and it may not be long before rumors begin swirling.
He spoke to Goal.com Wednesday about the possibility of facing Manchester United, saying "facing [them] would be a special feeling. I have watched them for some time."
Wanyama sounds like a player who wants in at Old Trafford. And with an aging midfield who could use some defensive prowess, this makes perfect sense.
Stopping goals isn't always the responsibility of the back four defenders. Midfielders need to do their work, too, and that's just what Wanyama would do if given the opportunity.