Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Surrounding Martin Montoya and Mohamed Salah

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2014

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - OCTOBER 4:  Mohamed Salah of FC Basel 1893 in action during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between FC Basel 1893 and KRC Genk held on October 4, 2012 at the St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo by Sebastien Feval/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Liverpool will be counting their missed opportunities in 2013 this January, but an overall improvement in form and the explosive return of Luis Suarez has the Reds in prime position to contend for the Premier League crown in 2014.

Brendan Rodgers' squad are six points behind league-leading Arsenal through 20 matches but are optimistic as they search for some key January additions to put them over the top.

Unsurprisingly, the Reds will be looking to add proven players who can help spark their offense and anchor their defense away from Anfield.

Below we'll run down the latest news surrounding a pair of Liverpool transfer targets.

 

Martin Montoya Remaining Patient

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 05:  Martin Montoya of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with Ruben Perez of Elche FC during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Elche FC at Camp Nou on January 5, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Imag
David Ramos/Getty Images

Liverpool defensive target Martin Montoya's future remains up in the air at Barcelona with his contract set to expire at season's end. However, on Jan. 7, he told reporters that he's happy where he is and is in no rush to finalize a new deal, per the Mirror's Liam Prenderville:

There is no hurry for me to sign a new deal. I am at the best club in the world and I learn each day from Dani Alves.

I believe that the negotiations are on the way but without pressure.

Although Montoya is saying all the right things, there's no doubt that he's gaining tons of interest from top-tier clubs like Liverpool that are in search of a defensive boost this January.

According to his agent Josep Maria Orobitg, several notable clubs have inquired about the 22-year-old, per Prenderville:

At the moment, everything is stopped [regarding a renewal with Barcelona].

Possible future in Italy for Montoya? Every day I have to clarify the situation of Martin, who has been requested by three clubs in Serie A. He also has enquiries from other major European leagues.

Montoya has made 13 appearances for Barca in all competitions this season, showing off his strong presence at the back in the process. According to WhoScored.com, Montoya has earned an average match rating of 7.4 in 2013-14, playing his best football on the left.

 

Mohamed Salah Drawing Interest from Russia

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02:  Mohamed Salah of Basel holds off Frank Lampard of Chelsea during UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Chelsea and FC Basel 1893 at Stamford Bridge on May 2, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Get
Michael Regan/Getty Images

In addition to defense, Rodgers is looking to bolster Liverpool's depth in midfield. As a result, the club has targeted 21-year-old Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, who has been dynamic on the wing for Swiss club Basel this season.

But according to a report by The Daily Express' Ben Jefferson on Jan. 7, Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg could spoil the party as they are set to double the Reds' offer on Salah.

Jefferson adds that several reports suggest Liverpool are on the "brink" of landing Salah this winter. 

However, comments made by Salah's agent Sascha Empacher confirm a deal has not yet been finalized, per Jefferson: "Talks with Liverpool are ongoing. They want him. But they need agreement with Basel."

Salah has played various roles in midfield and up top for Basel this season but has scored both of his goals from a right midfield role. Although his finishing ability pales in comparison to that of Suarez, Salah brings plenty of creativity to the table, something the Reds would welcome over the second half of the season.

 

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