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Manchester United targeting Nathaniel Clyne to bolster defence, sources say

Manchester United will attempt to prise right-back Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton in this transfer window, and sources say the club still want to make two signings in January, despite Louis van Gaal playing down all transfer speculation on Friday.

United's transfer plans have altered slightly, sources said, because of the chances of signing Kevin Strootman in this window receding, and attention has turned to the right and centre of defence.

Clyne is a long-term Old Trafford target, and all indications from Southampton are that he will leave in the summer. United's determination to ensure they finish in the top four, however, has meant they will attempt to negotiate with the high-flying south-coast club this January.

Van Gaal had privately been adamant that they should try and get Strootman this window, but Roma have been completely unwilling to sell now, and the Dutch coach is accepting they will have to wait until the summer for a deal that could cost up to 40 million pounds.

Sources say United currently have a list of up to 12 targets -- with many obvious fall-backs -- as they seek to bolster two positions. Some of the names have been much discussed, from Mats Hummels and Diego Godin to Ron Vlaar, but United are also said to be interested in Marquinhos of Paris Saint-Germain.

As regards the complicated Radamel Falcao situation, that will ultimately come down to Monaco's demands, and the current asking price -- 43.5 million pounds -- would be unfeasible.

United are also unlikely to make any sales in this window, but Van Gaal may well restructure the entire defence in the summer.

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