Liverpool look set to miss out on a deal to bring Barcelona youngster Martin Montoya to Anfield, after the Spanish champions opened talks over a new contract with the defender, according to talkSPORT.
The Reds have been monitoring the 22-year-old, who is out of contract at the Nou Camp in the summer, and has so far been unable to win a first team place under new manager Gerardo Martino.
Italian giants Inter Milan are also said to have expressed an interest in the youngster.
However Barca view the full back as a crucial player for the future, and have begun negotiations over a contract extension at the Nou Camp.
The news will come as a blow to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who had identified Montoya as a top target for January.
Rodgers saw the Spaniard as the ideal man to play as a wing back in his new 3-4-1-2 formation. Liverpool’s lack of depth in the wide positions were exposed during their weekend defeat to Arsenal, with Jon Flanangan and Aly Cissokho both struggling to cover for the injured Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson, who was admitted to hospital with illness shortly before kick off.
The La Liga champions are confident of agreeing the new deal during next week’s international break, and also hope to tie down fellow youngster Marc Bartra to a new deal – a man who has been linked with both Crystal Palace and West Ham.