Diego Godin Raul Jimenez Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin celebrates with teammate Raul Jimenez after scoring against Malaga in the Spanish leagueReuters

Manchester United  are ready to do a Chelsea  and raid Atletico Madrid players by making a bid for Diego Godin in the January transfer window.

Louis Van Gaal is set to strengthen his defensive line, and Godin will be perfect for that as the Uruguay international comes with bags of experience.

Godin can also marshal the defensive line well as he has shown for Atletico Madrid, and is the kind of leader that Manchester United lack in the back four at the moment.

Manchester United have, therefore, identified Godin as one of the prime candidates and are ready to trigger his £28 million release clause if necessary, according to the Daily Mail.

Atletico Madrid will not want to lose Godin in the middle of the campaign, as the centre-back is one of the Diego Simeone's most important players, made clear by the fact that he has played every minute in the La Liga this season.

However, the La Liga champions will be able to do little if Manchester United decide to trigger the buyout clause and succeed in convincing Godin that his future lies at Old Trafford.

Manchester United have plenty of money to spend if they want, and even if they have said they are only likely to spend the big money next summer, £28 million will certainly be seen as a good investment if it brings Godin on board.

Van Gaal has other options in mind as well, with Mats Hummels, Gerard Pique, Raphael Varane and Ron Vlaar all being monitored, but apart from Vlaar, all the other defenders will cost a pretty penny.

Godin has proved he can perform at the highest level, and also has the penchant for scoring vital goals, like he did so often last season.

It will be up to Van Gaal and the Manchester United board to decide if the need to spend £28 million on a central defender is urgent or if they can wait until the summer transfer window and assess all options before going in for a player.

Van Gaal's injury worries have eased up considerably, and even if Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Daley Blind are currently sidelined, the Manchester United manager can welcome back Jonny Evans, who has returned to training after recovering from an ankle injury which he picked up back in September.

Much will depend on just what situation Manchester United, in terms of league position and injuries, find themselves in come January.