Pepe Real Madrid Dani Alves Barcelona
Manchester United are interested in both Pepe and Dani AlvesReuters

Manchester United  are looking at bringing in quality -- and more importantly – experienced defenders to Old Trafford in the January transfer window in order to stabilise the defensive line which has looked a little iffy this season.

Louis Van Gaal has been linked with the likes of Mats Hummels, Aymeric Laporte and even Nemanja Vidic to name a few, with the latest to be linked with a move to Manchester United being Real Madrid centre-back Pepe and Barcelona fullback Dani Alves.

Alves has, of course, been tipped for a move to the English Premier League for a while now, with several big clubs monitoring the contract situation of the Brazilian at Barcelona.

The right-back will be out of contract in the summer, and according to Mundo Deportivo it does not seem like Alves will sign a new deal with Barcelona.

That means the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool , Arsenal  and Chelsea  can talk to Alves in January and shake hands on a pre-contract agreement in view of a free transfer in the summer.

If Van Gaal deems it necessary to bring in someone of Alves' experience in the January transfer window, rather than waiting until next season, a nominal fee should be enough to force Barcelona to sell, especially if it is indeed clear that Alves will not sign a new contract.

Alves will certainly bring bags of experience and a winning mentality to Manchester United, and the same can be said of Pepe as well.

The Real Madrid centre-back, even if he is a wee bit of a liability sometimes, has been one of the main men for the Spanish club over the past few years. Pepe also played a big part in Real Madrid's Champions League title run last season, and remains a vital cog in Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid wheel.

However, with Raphael Varane impatiently waiting in the wings, Ancelotti might be willing to consider selling Pepe to interested clubs, according to the Daily Express.

The report suggests Real Madrid are keen to receive some fort of fee for Pepe before his contract expires in the summer of 2016.

Manchester United are desperate for a centre-back, a confident central defender who can marshal his defence perfectly, and Pepe does fit that bill, even if he has the penchant to do crazy things at times.

But, with Real Madrid flying at the moment, it is unlikely that a deal will be completed in the January transfer window, with a move, if it were to happen at all, more likely to be made in the summer after the end of this season.