By Harry Sykes

West Ham are preparing an audacious January swoop for Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, according to a report.

The Telegraph claim the London club will sound out United about a loan deal for Martial, who moved to Old Trafford in the summer of 2015 for a fee rising to £56million.

It is said that West Ham will also ask about the possibility of loaning Martial’s teammate Marcus Rashford as they aim to land a goalscorer capable of spearheading their bid to climb the Premier League table.

The report states that West Ham want to sign a striker who is already proven in the top flight and will not need time to adjust to English football.

They are targeting elite front men not currently starting regulars at their clubs, with Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi also on their radar.

Martial has not started in either of United’s last two games, victories against West Brom and Crystal Palace. He did, however, start against West Ham in the League Cup and scored two goals in a 4-1 win.

The 21-year-old Frenchman enjoyed a promising first season at United, following his big-money move from Monaco, but has not showed his best form under Mourinho.

West Ham are 13th in the Premier League table after two consecutive home victories but have had a stuttering start to the season.

Football Insider verdict:

West Ham have two chances of landing Martial in January – slim and none. Ten out of ten for ambition and audacity, but the chances of United loaning out a player of such potential and pedigree appear remote to say the last. Yes, Martial has flickered only intermittently this season but he is good enough to turn it about very quickly and be red hot in a red shirt in the second half of the campaign.

In other West Ham transfer news, there was a meeting on Tuesday night as the Hammers close in on a striker deal.