Nathaniel Clyne Southampton
Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne is a reported transfer target for Manchester UnitedReuters

Louis van Gaal is keen on signing a defender in the January transfer window with several players being linked, but nothing concrete has come out of it.

Considering it is a priority, they have been linked to Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte and also Borussia Dotmund's Matt Hummels.

Athletic Bilbao might only allow their defender to leave the club and sign for Manchester United in the summer and that too if they are willing to meet his release clause.

And, with the transfer deadline day coming close, Van Gaal has set his sights on the young English defender, Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton, who has been in terrific form this season.

The Express has reported that the Red Devils are close to a deal with the defender.

With the Red Devils scout present in Southampton's game against Newcastle United at St James Park recently, the deal could be a possibility and it would be a major coup for Van Gaal, who also brought one of the best young fullbacks in the English game from Southampton, Luke Shaw, for £28 million last summer.

But, one thing is for sure considering the importance of Clyne in Southampton squad, Ronald Koeman will not allow the player to go on the cheap, for he is one of the best in his position.

Clyne's contract with Southampton comes to an end only in the summer of 2016.

The Red Devils are expected to attempt a £20 million January move.

Clyne joined Southampton from Crystal Palace in 2012 after enjoying a successful stint with the Eagles and the player is gradually earning a name with his skills playing for the Saints as well.

If the player decides to switch clubs, Manchester United will be a huge upgrade, for the Red Devils are one of the richest clubs in world football.

Hence, the player from day one will be expected to deliver the goods. 

However, there are some media reports about a possible signing of another defender from Dynamo Kyiv, Aleksandar Dragovic, who is also said to be close to signing a deal with the Red Devils.

With a number of defenders being linked to the club, it only shows how desperate the club are to sign a top class defender.