Bitter rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid are reportedly set to wage a head-to-head battle for Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele.

Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Ousmane Dembele is set to become the subject of a transfer battle between arch-rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid. The La Liga heavyweights are reportedly in the market for an attacking player and are prepared to launch the offensive for the Frenchman.

Dembele is widely regarded as one of the most exciting young prospects in the world, after establishing himself as an instrumental figure for Dortmund in his maiden campaign at the Signal Iduna Park.

The 20-year-old was revered for his playmaking abilities for the Bundesliga giants last season as he provided a staggering 21 assists in 49 appearances across all competitions, along with 10 goals as well, which saw him make his senior debut for the French National Team.

Suffice to say, the player’s stock has skyrocketed in recent months, with some of the biggest clubs in the world tailing the player this summer, the front-runners being Real Madrid and Barcelona, who look set to step up their efforts to secure his services.

The two bitter rivals were reportedly keen on signing of Kylian Mbappe. But, with AS Monaco only willing to sell the teenager at an amount reported to be closer to €200 million, the duo have turned their attention towards his compatriot – a much cheaper alternative.

Set to pack his bags? (Photo courtesy - Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

Set to pack his bags? (Photo courtesy – Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

At Real Madrid, Gareth Bale is being heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, prompting Zinedine Zidane to delve into the transfer market for a winger.  The Real Madrid boss has also publicly stated that the club are in the market for an attacking player following the departure of Alvaro Morata.

Thus, a move for Dembele could be in the offing. The youngster’s playmaking abilities could potentially complement Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema well, making him a viable target for Los Blancos.

Meanwhile, at Barcelona, an underwhelming 2016-17 campaign has been followed by a disastrous time in the current transfer window. The Catalan club have failed to land any of their primary targets thus far, and things have been thrown into further disarray with Neymar set to depart from Camp Nou.

The Brazilian’s impending departure means that Barcelona are now in desperate need to sign a forward who can fill the void left by his exit this summer. Dembele’s abilities on the ball, combined with his pace make him a viable target for Ernesto Valverde to consider.

At 20, the player can potentially become a long-term solution for either club, should they succeed in their attempts to sign him. Dembele, though, has gone on record to state that he is happy at Dortmund and is not looking to leave the club just yet.

Hence, Real Madrid and Barcelona have a sizable task on their hands to persuade the player to make his way to La Liga this summer. It now remains to be seen if they manage to land Dembele or are forced to set their sights elsewhere in search of an attacking reinforcement.

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