Serie A giants move ahead of Liverpool in race to sign Barcelona defender - report

FC Barcelona

Roma are reportedly looking to beat Liverpool to the signing of Barcelona right back Martin Montoya.

Liverpool's poor start to the season has seen them pick up just 14 points from the first 11 games of the Premier League season, and the pressure is gradually mounting on Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

Defensive issues persist, even after Rodgers spent heavily on trying to improve his backline - which was of course what cost them in last season's title race.

Right back Javi Manquillo arrived on a two-year loan deal from Atletico Madrid but has played just 536 minutes of Premier League football, failing to make much of an impact so far.

Meanwhile, £20m centre back Dejan Lovren has made a nightmare start to life on Merseyside, and left back Alberto Moreno, who signed for £16m from Sevilla, has offered some promise but has committed some costly errors too.

With Glen Johnson out of contract in 2015 and Jon Flanagan out injured, signing another right back is unsurprisingly on Rodgers' agenda, especially with Manquillo only on a temporary deal.

Reports last week suggested that Liverpool were lining up a January deal to sign Barcelona right back Martin Montoya, who has long been stuck behind Dani Alves at the Camp Nou.

Montoya would surely be open to a move to Anfield as the 23-year-old seeks first team football at a crucial time in his career - but now another possible destination is in the pipeline.

According to reports in Italy, Montoya could be a target for Serie A side Roma, who aren't exactly blessed with great options at right back, with Maicon and Vasillis Torosidis both either over or approaching 30.

Adding a younger full back should be a priority for Roma manager Rudi Garcia, and Montoya would certainly fit the bill - which could be a blow to Rodgers, who has missed out on a number of targets over the past 18 months.

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