Kalidou Koulibaly
Manchester United would be benefited by Koulibaly's versatilityReuters

Manchester United are reportedly eying a move for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly as Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal looks to reinforce his side's defence in January.

United, who have made a poor start to the 2014/15 campaign, have been struggling at the back this season following the summer departures of Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand to Inter Milan, Juventus and Queens Park Rangers respectively.

The Red Devils, apart from lacking some experienced players at the back, have also been facing an injury crisis, with many of their defenders including Marcos Rojo, Jonny Evans, Rafael and Phil Jones currently on the sidelines.

Due to this reason, van Gaal is desperate to get new defenders in January to sort out his side's issues at the back.

United, who are already being linked to the likes of Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels, Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar and West Ham's Winston Reid, are now reportedly plotting a move for Koulibaly, according to the Daily Star.

The 23-year-old would certainly be a good addition to the Red Devils squad as he is a very versatile player, capable of playing as a centre-back, a right-back and a defensive midfielder.

Former Manchester United boss David Moyes had targeted the French defender last summer but a deal failed to materialise and the youngster remained at Genk.

This summer Napoli were successful in securing Koulibaly's services for £8 million on a five-year contract.

As the 23-year-old only recently moved to Italy and signed a long-term contract with the Serie A giants, it is unlikely that Napoli would want to part with him in January.

However, Manchester United reportedly remain hopeful that Rafa Benitez's side will consider letting go of the young Frenchman if a generous offer is made.

Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Paddy Crerand feels that van Gaal's new side will starting improving once they start shaking off their injuries.

Despite only managing to get a point out of their last two fixtures against Chelsea (1-1) and Manchester City (1-0), United have been playing well, exhibiting a lot of fighting spirit and quality

And Crerand feels that the results will soon start to follow once Van Gaal is able to take his pick from the squad.

"If we get an injury-free spell and the manager gets a settled team then that will make a huge difference," Crerand told the club's official website.

"Most people were expecting big things this year and because of the injury situation it's not happened so far. It's just a case of getting everyone fit. United can go on a long run of games and we've got to see that happen. It will happen, I'm confident of that."