Liverpool are hoping to secure the signing of Barcelona right-back Martin Montoya on a free transfer when his contract ends next summer, according to reports in the German newspaper Bild via the Daily Star's Nick Lustig.
Catalunya native Montoya, 22, has been with Barcelona since the age of eight but has featured just once in La Liga under Gerardo Martino this season.
His lack of playing time has prompted reports of a move away from the club, given his current contract status, with Bayern Munich reportedly among his suitors.
BILD saying LFC are front runners for Barcelona right back Martin Montoya. Want to secure him on a pre-contract agreement this January.— Jack Sear (@JackSear) October 17, 2013
Lustig reports on Friday:
Liverpool are hoping to beat Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen to the signing of Barcelona defender Martin Montoya by lining up a pre-contract offer.
The defender, whose contract at the Camp Nou expires at the end of the season, has seen his first-team opportunities under new boss Gerardo Martino limited.
According to Bild, Munich and Leverkusen are keen to bring Montoya to the Bundesliga and will compete with Liverpool for his signature.
A Spain Under-23 international, Montoya was part of the La Rojita side that won the European Under-21 Championship in fine style during the summer.
Having made 15 league appearances last campaign and challenged Dani Alves for his first-team spot under Tito Vilanova, Montoya will no doubt have been disappointed to find himself underused by Martino this campaign.
The latest reports are just further indication that Liverpool are in the market for a right-back, despite the presence of Glen Johnson, Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom in the first-team squad.
Catching up on Euro 21 now. Yes everyone is now looking at Isco but what about Martin Montoya, real talent there!— Nathan Adams (@NathanAdams1) June 8, 2013
The first two have suffered with injuries over recent campaigns, while Kolo Toure being selected at right-back says little for Wisdom's readiness for Premier League action.
Were Montoya to sign, or even Micah Richards—as linked by Lustig, among others—the future of Johnson as the club's first-choice right-back would have to come into question.
A fast right-back with impressive stamina, Montoya has proven to be a real threat as an attacking outlet for Barcelona, while also a more defensive-minded alternative to Dani Alves.
With Liverpool trying to play a high-tempo, possession-based philosophy not dissimilar to that seen at the Camp Nou, Montoya may well be an ideal, long-term full-back option.
Rodgers brought in Mamadou Sakho, Tiago Ilori and Toure this summer, seeking to form a squad more in tune with his ideal style of play. It would appear that, despite his spending this summer, the right-back position is the next identified for an overhaul.