Real Madrid could reportedly turn their attention to Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez if their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane ends in failure.
The La Liga giants were not expected to be in the market for a new striker until 2024, as Karim Benzema was thought to have been on the verge of signing a new one-year deal.
However, in an unforeseen turn of events, the Ballon d'Or winner ended a trophy-laden 14 years at the Bernabeu to join Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad on a three-year contract.
With Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz and Eden Hazard also heading for the exit door, Carlo Ancelotti has been left short of options in the final third, where Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo are currently holding the fort.
Joselu is expected to join the capital outfit on a season-long loan from Espanyol, but the former Newcastle United man will likely only be a backup to a big-name centre-forward.
Spurs striker and England captain Kane is rumoured to be Real Madrid's number one attacking target, with the 29-year-old out of contract next summer and still awaiting his first piece of silverware.
While Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to sell his star man, he would supposedly prefer to do business with a foreign club rather than strengthen one of the Lilywhites' Premier League rivals.
Real are reportedly set to try their luck with a £68m proposal, but Levy is expected to hold out for at least £100m, and Kane is thought to be pining for a move to Manchester United as he hunts down Alan Shearer at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.
Should Real Madrid's proposed move for Kane fall through, The Athletic - via The Mirror - reports that Inter Milan and Argentina marksman Martinez has emerged as a possible alternative.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed another prolific season in Nerazzurri colours with 28 goals and 11 assists in 56 games across all competitions, including 21 strikes in 38 Serie A matches.
Martinez has also contributed three goals and three assists in 12 Champions League games for Simone Inzaghi's side, who face Manchester City in Saturday's final in Istanbul.
The former Racing Club attacker has been linked with a move away from San Siro for some time, but he temporarily quietened speculation over his future in 2021 by penning a new long-term contract, which expires in 2026.
However, Martinez is once again being tipped to seek pastures new in the upcoming window, and the report adds that a fee of £70m could convince Inter to sell the Argentina international.
As is the case with Real Madrid, though, Man United are believed to be keeping tabs on Martinez's future if they are also unsuccessful in their pursuit of Kane, but Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta has claimed that he can envisage Martinez captaining the Nerazzurri one day, seemingly dealing both teams an early transfer blow.
Martinez boasts a total of 102 goals and 36 assists in 237 matches for Inter since 2018 and is expected to start alongside ex-Man City striker Edin Dzeko in Saturday's European final.