Both Liverpool and Arsenal have been strongly linked with an interest in the services of Barcelona full-back Martin Montoya recently - as the young Spanish full-back’s contract at the Nou Camp expires at the end of the season.
The full-back has been stalling on signing a new contract at the Catalan club for about a year now as he is unsure of where he fits into the future of the club.
And he has every right to be concerned.
This season he has played just 11 games in La Liga - and is currently behind Dani Alves, Jordi Alba and Adriano in the pecking order for the full-back positions.
With that in mind he has been repeatedly linked with a summer exit - as he reportedly feels undervalued at the club.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal expressed an interest - with Inter Milan also mentioned. Liverpool want to strengthen their defence in light of Glen Johnson’s poor injury record; whilst Arsenal saw him as a potential replacement for their own contract rebel Bacary Sagna.
But it seems that both sides will have to look elsewhere.
There have been numerous reports in the Spanish media yesterday that Montoya has already decided to stay with Barcelona - with a new four-year-deal set to be announced on Monday.
The contract is likely to include an appearance based release clause - similar to those given to Cristian Tello and Thiago Alcantara in the past - and it is believed such a compromise is what swayed Montoya to the idea of remaining at Barca.
So it now appears both Liverpool and Arsenal must get back to the drawing board - and consider other options for this position in the summer market.
image: © jeroen_bennink