Louis van Gaal will "happily play the long game" in his pursuit of Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels, but he has identified Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi as an alternative if a deal for the German cannot be reached.Joe Short of the Express believes a deal for Otamendi will go ahead in "late January" if Manchester United fail to land Hummels by the time the transfer window draws to a close. He is valued at 40 million and could be allowed to leave if Valencia snap up Marseille youngster Doria, reported by L'Equipe (h/t Short).That is only 7 million less than the number being touted for Hummels, noted in the aforementioned article. Otamendi has posted a string of impressive performances this seasonmaking one of La Liga season's best sliding tackles on Lionel Messi at the end of last monthand could add to the growing Argentinian contingent at Old Trafford.It may be beneficial for Marcos Rojo to partner Otamendi in defence. The flamboyant defender hasn't always played responsibly for United, leaving his position exposed and overplaying the ball, but he could settle with a calming presence alongside him.Otamendi is also familiar with Angel Di Maria and has the physical prowess to improve United's limited defensive quality.Valencia are said to have posted a 20.5 million bid for Benfica's Enzo Perezanother Argentinian who has continued to pop up on United's radarmeaning they may be willing to sellOtamendi to fund the deal.Jamie Andersonof theExpresssuggests Van Gaal has missed out on the player who is set to become Valencia's most expensive of all time.As a side note on Hummels, Short suggests United "appear to have beaten Arsenal and Manchester City to the Dortmund defender." Injured left-back Luke Shaw also appeared to offer another defensive boost on Twitter:Van Gaal will certainly need to look beyond the potential signing of Diego Godin after the Atletico Madrid defender ruled out leaving the Vicente Calderon. Godin's comments were reported by ESPN (h/t Hannah Duncan of the Metro):At this point, I feel that Im in the best time of my career and I still see my retirement [as] very far [away]. I would like to stay many years [at Atletico Madrid].But it is true that I also have an attraction from my country and at any point in the future I would like to return to Uruguay, to respond to the love they have showed me.Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC reports that United have a "strong chance" of wrapping up a deal for Roma's Kevin Strootman in January, a rumour that now has greater legs due to the Italian side's elimination from the Champions League.Delaney provided further detail and a potential price:Now, United sources have told ESPN FC that they may be able to push the deal through in January, and Roma will be more ready to negotiate despite their public statements to the contrary. Strootman could cost upwards of 30 million.Perhaps the most expensive business of the near future will involve Radamel Falcao, who has stated that he wishes to remain at United beyond his current loan spell.A reported 265,000-per-week contract and 43.5 million fee currently separate United and Monaco from making a deal for the striker permanent, per BBC Sport."I am very happy in this city, in this club. I really want to stay," said Falcao.The Colombian striker has scored just once in eight appearances for United, per WhoScored.com.However, Falcaois currently averaging under 39 minutes per display, and he hasn't completed more than 20 minutes since he netted the winner against Everton on Oct. 5. Van Gaal has a serious decision to make, as right now, the 28-year-old's consistent injury problems limit his worth.Football pundit Andy Brassell told B/R UK's Ryan Bailey exactly how United can spend their money in January:Van Gaal will be pleased with his team's current position of third, but he's not the type of manager to rest on a decent run of results.Despite six consecutive wins, one loss will see the reappearance of many doubters. United's defence and lack of physicality in midfield remains a worry that needs to be sorted if they are to secure a place in next season's Champions League. Click here to read full news..