Manchester United are considering a January move for Fulham defender Brede Hangeland, according to the London Metro.

The 31-year-old Norwegian international will be out of contract at the end of the season, and as a result has attracted free transfer interest from a number of rival Premier League clubs.

Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to address his defensive injury crisis, and sees a cut-price move for Hangeland when the transfer window reopens next year as an attractive proposition.

Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have all endured long spells on the Old Trafford sidelines, while short-term injuries to Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans has forced Manchester United to move Michael Carrick into defence.

Ferguson is now thinking about whether to beat the rush to sign the Cottagers ace when he becomes a free agent by making a bid for him in January.

Hangeland is older than the normal profile of player United usually go for, but having struggled at the back this season, they could benefit from his invaluable experience.

After moving to Craven Cottage from FC Copenhagen in January 2008, the uncompromising defender has enjoyed four-and-a-half successful years in west London.

Combining great aerial ability and physical strength with elegant technique, passing ability and pace, the Fulham captain would be an astute acquisition for the title challengers.

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