Montoya Future in Doubt but Barcelona Deny They Have Met Liverpool

Guillem Balague@@GuillemBalagueFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - AUGUST 10: Martin Montoya of Barcelona FC is checked by Nazrin Nawi 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

The future of Barcelona right-back Martin Montoya is firmly in the spotlight at the moment.

It has been reported by the English press, such as this piece by the Mirror's David Maddock, that Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has been in Barcelona for talks with the defender.

Barcelona deny they have met anybody with regards to selling Montoya. 

Liverpool do need a full-back and they have been alerted to Montoya’s situation at Barcelona. Although primarily a right-back, the 22-year-old is comfortable on the opposite flank as well. That makes him an extremely attractive option.

Montoya is in the final year of his contract and is unsure of his position at the club.

As things stand, Dani Alves is the No. 1 right-back at Barcelona.

Dani Alves
Dani AlvesDavid Ramos/Getty Images

Alves has been the first choice right-back at Barca since arriving at the club in 2008; dislodging a player of Alves' status is not easy.

With that in mind, Montoya must consider his future. If he is not convinced he can be a regular at Barcelona he will have no qualms about leaving the team—hence, no agreement over an extension has been found between the player's agent and club.

Barcelona do not want to sell Montoya, least of all in January. The team are struggling with injuries, and they view him as the successor to Alves.

Having turned 30, Alves is heading towards the latter stages of his career. And there is the intriguing prospect of Barca selling Alves and allowing that spot to be Montoya’s from next season.

With Barcelona fighting for honours both domestically and in Europe, there is no way they would sell Alves before the summer. The problem is, by that time, Montoya could well have made a decision on his own future.

The right-back, who can become Spain's first choice in that position if he plays regularly for a big club, has a decision to make. Does he sit tight and wait for his chance at Barcelona, or head for a new challenge? That decision has not been made yet.

NETANYA, ISRAEL - JUNE 15: Joshua King (L) of Norway clears the ball ahead of Martin Montoya of Spain during the UEFA European U21 Championship Semi Final match between Spain and Norway at Netanya Stadium on June 15, 2013 in Netanya, Israel.  (Photo by Al
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Liverpool hope it is the latter. But the Reds are not the only side interested in Montoya, as Rafa Benitez’s Napoli are watching the situation with interest, as confirmed by talkSPORT.

There is one thing working against Liverpool at the moment. Montoya is challenging for all the titles at Barcelona. Liverpool, currently do not even play in the Europa League. It is difficult to convince that calibre of player to take a step down in their career.

Also, if Liverpool's fight for a top-four spot in the Premier League goes down to the final week of the season, the right-back may not wait to see where they finish before making up his mind about his future.

With the transfer window set to open in a little over a month, Montoya is shaping up as one of the hot topics. With Barcelona not selling, the question will be where he will play next season.