Gerard Pique Neymar Barcelona
Manchester United are looking at the possibility of tempting Gerard Pique to Old TraffordReuters

As Manchester United continue to struggle in the defensive department, it is inevitable that Louis Van Gaal will look for possible solutions in the January transfer window to rectify the problem. And one of those solutions could be Gerard Pique of Barcelona.

Van Gaal is reportedly looking at the possibility of bringing back Pique to Manchester United in the winter window.

Pique spent a few years at Manchester United, between 2004-08, without really breaking into the team, before being sold back to his boyhood club Barcelona.

However, Manchester United are now looking at the possibility of bringing in the 27-year-old back to Old Trafford by making a £20 million bid, according to the Daily Star.

"The manager knows he still needs to strengthen his defence and he would love to sign Pique," a Manchester United source told the Daily Star.

"He is a former United player so he knows the club and Pique is a player he can build his defence around. Signing him from Barcelona won't be easy though."

It certainly will not be easy to convince Pique to leave Barcelona, where they are in contention for the La Liga title and the Champions League, and move to Manchester United, who do not have any European football this season, and haven't made the greatest of starts to their English Premier League campaign either.

It is difficult to envisage Pique leaving Barcelona at the moment, even if Luis Enrique might have a few other options in central defence following the signings of Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen in the summer.

Pique, himself, recently admitted he is unlikely to move away, even for his former club Manchester United, who he has spoken fondly of in the past.

"You never know what the future holds, but right now, I love this city, I love the people in the club, and most importantly, I love the institution," he said. "I don't see myself leaving."

Making a move for Pique at the end of the season might be the more probable option, with Barcelona also quite unlikely to want to lose a key player in the middle of the season, even if Manchester United show they are willing to pay a hefty price.

Van Gaal, however, desperately needs a few more reinforcements – in defence and in midfield – if Manchester United are to challenge the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City for the title, and it remains to be seen if the likes of Arturo Vidal, Kevin Strootman and Ron Vlaar make their way to Old Trafford in a little over two months' time.