Ezequiel Garay
Zenit's Garay in action against former club BenficaReuters

Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a move for Zenit Saint Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay as Louis van Gaal looks to strengthen his side's defence in January.

The departures of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic to Queens Park Rangers, Juventus and Inter Milan respectively seem to have hit the Red Devils pretty hard as they are currently struggling at the back, with them having already conceded 15 goals in their opening eight Premier League fixtures.

Despite United currently having the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans in the centre-back positions, the trio has not managed to impress so far, and United boss van Gaal is now keen to rope in a new experienced centre-back in the winter transfer window.

And Garay, who has a lot of experience playing at the highest level with the likes of Real Madrid and Benfica, seems to fit the bill.

Despite the-28-year-old having only completed a move to Zenit this summer, United are confident that they can secure the Argentine's signature in January.

According to The Independent, the Red Devils have already sent two scouts to monitor Garay's performance during Zenit's recent 0-2 loss to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, van Gaal feels that a victory against Chelsea on Sunday could turn around United's campaign and start a new era at Old Trafford.

United are certainly not the favourites to win this game, considering their poor start to the season and Chelsea's excellent run of form.

But the Dutchman feels that the Red Devils' season may come back on track if they manage to beat Chelsea on Sunday.

"When you get a good result in a moment that maybe you never expect, that gives you a lot of stimulation to continue. I have had a lot of moments like this and maybe we'll have one on Sunday against Chelsea," van Gaal told Manchester United's official website.

However, the former Barcelona boss admits that his side will have to avoid making silly defensive errors like they made against West Brom, when they play hosts to the Blues on Sunday.

"Of course, I think a lot of the time we lose [goals] or we get caught out because of individual errors and it's always another player who makes that individual error," he continued. "That is not easy to improve. We made a very good attacking match [at West Brom] but scoring two was not enough. It was a pity as we were the better team."