BARCELONA are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez following the severity of Ousmane Dembele's injury.
The 22-year-old winger has been ruled out for six months after the French forward was forced to undergo surgery on a serious hamstrung tear.
Dembele – who hasn't featured for the Blaugrana since November 27 due to injury – will play no part in Euro 2020.
Barca said in a statement: "Dembele has successfully undergone surgery in Turku, Finland where he was operated on by Dr. Lasse Lempainen for a ruptured tendon in his proximal hamstring in his right thigh.
"The Frenchman will be out for around six months.
"The striker was continuing his recovery from the hamstring injury when he was forced to retire from a training session at the Ciutat Esportiva last week.
"Subsequent tests confirmed a complete rupture to the tendon in the proximal hamstring of his right leg."
And with the player not expected to return to match action until next season, Mundo Deportivo has claimed that signing Martinez is now Barca's top priority.
They state their need to sign a forward has been accelerated due to Dembele's spell on the sidelines, while they also want a successor to the ageing Luis Suarez.
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