Liverpool hopes of double Barcelona deal suffer setback

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Liverpool's hopes of securing the services of Barcelona duo Christian Tello and Martin Montoya have suffered a setback after the Catalan club's president Josep Bartomeu insisted he wanted the pair to stay put.

Reports surfaced last week that Chief Executive Ian Ayre was in Spain to hold talks with Barcelona over Montoya, who is out of contract in the summer and free to sign with a rival team from January if he doesn't agree a new deal.

Liverpool have also been linked with a move for Tello for some time.

Neither player has been able to establish themselves as a regular in the Barcelona first-team, but Bartomeu hopes they aren't turned by news of Liverpool's interest and stay and fight for their place at the Nou Camp.

Tello and Montoya could leave if they won't play more? We like their ambition. They should continue to fight," he is quoted as saying.

Tello in particular has been linked with a move to England for some time, while the Daily Star claim Arsenal are interested in rivalling Liverpool for Montoya.

The Barcelona winger has previously admitted he is willing to move on unless things change dramatically for him - although a summer move is more likely than a January switch.

"You wait and see how the season goes and if by the end I do not play what I want, I will raise out," Tello said.

"Taking that step will be quite difficult but I think we appreciate the role of each. As the years pass you want the role change and have more minutes."

Liverpool take on Norwich this evening hoping to bounce back from their shock defeat against Hull over the weekend.

They will have to do it without joint leading goalscorer Daniel Sturridge, who has been ruled out for up to eight weeks with an ankle injury.

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