- Lautaro Martinez has emerged top priority signing for Barcelona
- The Catalans might have to cough out a sum of £100m for the Inter Milan forward
- Barca confirmed that Dembele will be out for six months after undergoing surgery
Spanish League giants Barcelona have reportedly stepped up their bid to sign Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele.
The Frenchman has been ruled out of action for the next half-a-year after undergoing surgery to correct the hamstring injury he suffered late last year.
Dembele has made nine appearances for the Blaugrana this campaign - scoring just one goal across competitions in the process.
Barca have also been without their influential striker Luis Suarez which leaves the La Liga defending champions strikerless midway into the 2019-20 season.
SunSport reports that with his latest setback, the 22-year-old who won FIFA World Cup with France at the 2018 global football showpiece will not be at Euro 2020.
The club confirmed that the former Borussia Dortmund star has undergone a successful operation in Finland, adding that the winger was forced to retire after his injury relapsed earlier this week.
With Dembele out for the remainder of the season, the Sun quoting Mundo Deportivo claimed that Barcelona have pushed Martinez to the top of their priority signings.
The 22-year-old Argentine star has scored 16 goals in 27 games in all competitions for the Italian League giants this campaign.
Martinez's arrival will also help them prepare for life after ageing Uruguay star Luis Suarez who has also been on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, they will battle Premier League duo Manchester United and Chelsea for the signature of the forward.
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However, the Catalans will be hoping their captain Lione Messi can help persuade his countryman to consider moving to Camp Nou in the summer.
Barca have also been linked with a move to sign Chelsea captain Willian having failed to secure the deal last August.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Spanish League defending champions Barcelona have been dealt with a big blow as forward Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for the next six months.
The Frenchman suffered a relapse while recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered late last year. He has now undergone successful surgery according to the club's official statement.
This means that Barcelona will now have to be without the France international for their remaining matches this season in all competitions.