The Villa midfielder is currently the club's vice captain but has just six months remaining on his current deal, leading to speculation Pardew may swoop in for him.
The 26-year-old began his career with Wimbledon before moving to West Ham in 2004 and captaining the side which Alan Pardew lead to promotion in the 2004-05 season.
After moving to Villa in 2007 for a fee of £8.5 million, he has enjoyed a mixed spell with time in and out of the side and he was involved in a bust up with former manager Martin O'Neill leading to speculation his future lay elsewhere.
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Currently on 98 appearances for the Villans, the robust, tough-tackling midfielder would fit the bill for the kind of player United likes to target, being relatively young and a player Pardew has worked with before.
The former England under-21 could be available at bargain in January as struggling Villa cash in rather than lose him for free in the summer.
Gerard Houlier has been linked with Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton in recent weeks, though Barton and United appear reluctant to negotiate with anyone after rejecting a reported £5 million bid from West Ham for the midfielder at the start of the season.
The reported interest in Reo-Coker has came after talks with Birmingham City's Sebastian Larsson stalled; the midfielder's excessive wage demands rumoured to have halted talks.
United's derby rivals Sunderland are also expected to show a summer interest in Larsson who featured for Birmingham against West Ham in the League Cup semifinal on Tuesday despite being given permission to talk to Alan Pardew's side.