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
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
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.
I would love to see Mohamed Salah in a Red shirt. He's got everything we need in a winger - pace, skill, assists and goals in him. #LFC— Ciao Anfield (@CiaoAnfield) January 6, 2014
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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