Eden Hazard Chelsea Petar Stojanovic Maribor
Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard and Maribor defender Petar Stojanovic battle for possession in their Champions League gameReuters

If there is any defender even remotely available or impressing in Europe or anywhere else in the world, Manchester United are likely to be linked with a move. The latest to that growing list of defenders is Petar Stojanovic of Maribor, who is also being watched by the other club in desperate need of some strengthening in defence – Arsenal.

Louis Van Gaal is expected to bring in at least one defender, if not more, to Manchester United during the January transfer window, with the manager reportedly looking at the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Mats Hummels, Ezequiel Garay and even former skipper Nemanja Vidic.

While Manchester United need to bring in reinforcements in the centre of the defence, any quality signing will be welcome, and the club have been reportedly keeping tabs on youngster Stojanovic, who is a fullback also capable of playing in midfield.

The Maribor player was scouted by Arsenal in the Champions League game against Chelsea recently, and according to Ekipa 24, representatives of Manchester United were also watching the player. Stojanovic played the full 90 minutes in both the Champions League games against Chelsea – a 6-0 loss and a 1-1 draw.

Van Gaal will always want to bring in talented young players to the club, while also working with the ones already at Old Trafford, but surely the priority for Manchester United in the January transfer window should be signing an experienced central defender who can command the back-four.

Of course, Stojanovic will not dent United's transfer funds too much even if Van Gaal decides to make a bid, but the manager will probably be more interested in signing a central defender as well as a strong player in the middle of the park.

Someone likes Hummels, Garay or Vidic does make sense if Manchester United are looking to strengthen the heart of the defence, while Van Gaal will also be looking at the possibility of signing one of Kevin Strootman, Arturo Vidal, Sami Khedira or Ilkay Gundogan during the January transfer window to add more quality in midfield.

Manchester United have been infinitely better defensively after Van Gaal went to a more conservative formation, with only one striker up top, but the sooner the Dutchman can bring a quality, experienced player at centre-back and centre midfield the better.

Also read