Liverpool may target Montoya as January defensive fix

Liverpool have been alerted to the possibility of bringing Barcelona defender Martin Montoya to Anfield in January.

Liverpool could look to Barcelona during the January transfer window in an attempt to strengthen ahead of the second semester of the English Premier League season and 23-year-old Martin Montoya is the latest Camp Nou star said to feature on Brendan Rodgers' wishlist.

Thus far, the Merseyside outfit have struggled to replicate their form of last season and with just four wins under their belt, they lie in the bottom half of the table in a miserable eleventh place.

Defensive frailties are at the heart of this poor form, with clean sheets hard to come by - they have now kept just three in their last 26 games in all competitions. With this in mind, Rodgers is likely to invest in his back four when the opportunity arises in January. 

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has reportedly told Montoya, a right-back by trade, that he is surplus to requirements at the Catalan outfit and will be allowed to leave the club, despite having over four years left to run on his current contract.

This means he is likely to be available on the cheap or on loan in the new year, which could tempt long-time admirers Liverpool to make an official approach for his services. You only have to look as far as Alberto Moreno to see that Rodgers appreciates a young, attacking (Spanish) full-back.

Glen Johnson's performances have proven underwhelming this season, while Javier Manquillo only provides a short-term fix for the club on the right side of defence, with his contract being a temporary loan deal from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.

Montoya, a La Masia graduate, has made 38 first-team appearances, and although he has rarely ventured outside the club's reserve ranks in each of the last two seasons - playing just one domestic fixture so far this term - he has already won two La Liga titles in Spain. 

His solitary league appearance of the season came in Barca's impressive 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao. He gave a good account of himself during that tie, weighing in with six defensive actions (four interceptions and two clearances) - the second highest of any Barcelona player - and finding success in two of his three attempted tackles.

  Pass Accuracy (%)
Martin Montoya 85
Liverpool 84

He also assisted in an attacking capacity, displaying his ability to threaten in the final third, playing one key pass and fashioning one strike at goal for himself. Meanwhile, his pass completion rate ranks slightly above the Anfield outfit's average for the current season. 

While Liverpool are reportedly keen on the Spaniard, Italian side Inter Milan have also show an interest. Nonetheless, the defender is said to favour a move to the Premier League, which bodes well for Brendan Rodgers ahead of the winter window. 

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch