Barcelona right-back Martin Montoya looks like heading out of the Camp Nou next month if his agent’s candid comments ring true, with Liverpool the likeliest Premier League destination.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is thought to have sent his Anfield elves to assess the 23-year-old Spaniard at various points over the past 12 months, as he began sizing up long-term replacements for Glen Johnson.
It is among the worst-kept secrets on Merseyside that Johnson’s assessment of what a contract extension should look like wildly differs from that which Liverpool wish to offer the 30-year-old to stay on past summer 2015.
Thus far stalemate has prevailed, though the sudden availability of Barca’s Spanish international right-back could be a deciding factor in the drawn out negotiations.
Of course, Rodgers has already fleshed out his defence with La Liga purchases this summer, as Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo arrived from Sevilla and Atletico Madrid respectively.
However, right-sided Manquillo is only at Anfield on a loan deal, while £12m Moreno is a specialist left-back.
The jury is still in recess where Manquillo is concerned too, as what the young Spaniard possesses in terms of gusto, he is found wanting for in the technical department.
There is no such issue surrounding Montoya’s ball skills, with his Barcelona upbringing ensuring the 23-year-old is well versed in the kind of football Rodgers admires most.
Unfortunately for Montoya, he’s been kept on the Blaugrana peripheries by arguably the best right-back in world football, Dani Alves, ensuring his minutes on the pitch have been limited.
That brand of electrifying Barca-style football which Liverpool were able to summon at will last season has all-but vanished during a topsy-turvy campaign in 2014/15.
The Reds’ top-four hopes and Champions League aspirations hang in the balance as Christmas approaches.
Facing a showdown against Basel last up in Group B, Liverpool are priced as 13/20 favourites with bwin to grab the win they need to progress, despite recording just one victory from their previous five group games.