Liverpool open talks over deal for Barcelona starlet

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Liverpool look to be close to completing a deal for Barcelona youngster Martin Montoya after club chief Ian Ayre flew into Spain to hold talks over the defender.

The Mirror report that the Spanish U21 could be on his way to Anfield, with Ayre in town to talk to the player about a potential switch.

The paper claim that both Arsenal and Inter Milan have expressed an interest in the 22-year-old, who was part of Spain's U21 successful squad at the European Championships last summer.

Montoya, who can operate at full-back and at centre-back and would fill a hole in Brendan Rodgers's squad following the injury to Jose Enrique, is out of contract with Barcelona in the summer.

That means he would be able to sign an agreement with Liverpool that would see him head to Merseyside in the summer. Contract talks with Barcelona are believed to have broken down.

Despite that, the Mirror report that Ayre is in Spain to try and negotiate a deal for Montoya that would see him join Liverpool in January for a small fee.

Montoya has made six La Liga appearances for Barcelona this season, and is tipped to become one of Spain's brightest defensive stars. Rodgers will hope that his upbringing at the Nou Camp will help him settle into life at Anfield as quickly as possible.

Barcelona, who have lost promising youngsters such as Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas in the past, appear to have been caught on the back foot by Liverpool's interest. 

Montoya's agent said recently: "We have been talking about a renewal, but there is nothing yet as the situation is a little complicated.

"We will evaluate the situation more as we move forward, and it is at the moment we can no talk about a possible transfer in January."

The relationship between Liverpool and Barcelona is said to be good following talks over the future of goalkeeper Pepe Reina, and the Premier League club are confident that a deal can be done.

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