English Premier League champions Manchester United are reportedly close to luring rival club Bolton Wanderers' central defender Gary Cahill, to Old Trafford, in January.

Cahill, 26, whose contract will expire in June, was previously linked heavily with Arsenal but the bid failed. It now seems that Manchester United are the most recent club to show their interest in the player; a move that gains significance after their Serbian defender, Nemanja Vidic, was declared unavailable for the rest of the season and reports indicate Rio Ferdinand could leave in the summer.

It is being said that United have worked hard behind-the-scenes to land Cahill and could move to offer a fee and take the player in January rather than wait to take him on a Bosman in the summer. Although the club has managed things, defensively, in the Premiership, the Old Trafford-based club has let in too many goals in this season's Champions League. The possible addition of Gary Cahill could provide more stability to the team's defense.

No fee has been mentioned thus far for the player, according to a Tribalfootbal report.

Gary James Cahill, who joined Bolton from Aston Villa in 2008 on a three-and-a-half year deal, has made a total of 143 appearances for the club.

However, other reports suggest that United's title rivals, Chelsea, have already agreed a £7 million fee for the player and need only discuss personal terms with Cahill. If United really do want their man, then they may have to move very quickly in order to beat Chelsea.