Martin Montoya Reportedly Lined Up by Liverpool for Transfer from Barcelona

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IOctober 18, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - AUGUST 10:  Martin Montoya of Barcelona FC is tackled by S. Kunanalan of Malaysia during the friendly match between FC Barcelona and Malaysia at the Shah Alam Stadium on August 10, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

NETANYA, ISRAEL - JUNE 15: Martin Montoya of Spain is challenged by Vegar Eggen Hedenstad and Stefan Strandberg (R-L) of Norway during the UEFA European U21 Championship Semi Final match between Spain and Norway at Netanya Stadium on June 15, 2013 in Neta
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

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.