The Spanish side have made a miserable start to their title defence in La Liga, falling 10 points behind Barcelona, and have lacked spark up front in the absence of the injured Gareth Bale.
Zinedine Zidane had wanted to sign Kylian Mbappe to provide fresh impetus to his attack, and even sold Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez to make way, but the French teenager chose to join PSG.
And now The Sun report that Zidane has switched targets from Mbappe to Martial and has instructed the Spanish club to make a massive £80m move for his compatriot.
Despite his struggles in Manchester, Zidane believes he can turn Martial into a major world star and can herald in a new era at Real as they start thinking about life after Cristiano Ronaldo.
Zidane is especially keen to bring more youth and speed to his side in the coming transfer windows, and Martial ticks both boxes.
However, United will put up a fight to try and keep the former Monaco man, who has got a new lease of life this season, scoring five times in the Premier League and laying on a further two assists.
The Red Devils have no immediate concerns about losing Martial as he is tied down to a long-term contract, but the interest in the forward is considered worrying.
Despite his upturn in form, Martial still remains a squad option in Jose Mourinho’s eyes – especially now Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba are back from injury – and that could prompt the Frenchman to push for a move to Real.