By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens

Manchester United have opened talks with Monaco over a deal for Anthony Martial in a last-ditch bid to solve their striker crisis, Football Insider sources understand.

The Premier League giants have set their sights on the 19-year-old and have been told it will cost £36.2million to prise him from Ligue 1.

United are desperate to add more firepower to their attack, which is currently being led singlehandedly by Wayne Rooney.

Louis van Gaal has now sanctioned a late move for Martial, a France Under-21 international who has scored 15 goals in 69 matches for Monaco.

It comes as United’s attempt to sign Sadio Mane from Southampton in a £20million deal has stalled, while other more optimistic targets like Thomas Muller and Gareth Bale have failed to reach fruition.

Van Gaal wants to bring more pacy and mobility to his front line, which is over-reliant on Rooney as Javier Hernandez prepares to follow earlier summer departures Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao out of the Stamford Bridge exit door.

West Ham lead the race to sign Hernandez, who is also the subject of interest from Tottenham and Bayer Leverkusen, after the Mexican was told by the manager that he can find a new club.

Van Gaal has spoken warmly of Rooney’s significance to the United cause but accepts that the 29-year-old needs support.

England’s talisman failed to score for a 10th consecutive Premier League match as United lost 2-1 at Swansea on Sunday, their first defeat of the season.