Liverpool's hopes of luring Barcelona right-back Martin Montoya away from the Catalan club have been all but extinguished, with reports in Spain claiming that the young defender has already agreed a four-year extension contract with the Spanish giants.
Brendan Rodgers, who is a huge fan of the Spanish academy, has been monitoring the Barcelona defender in recent months and he was confident of signing him on a free transfer next summer, as his current contract at the Nou Camp is due to expire at the end of the season.
However, according to Spanish newspaper Sport, Montoya has already agreed principal terms to commit his future to Barcelona for the next four seasons, and the deal is expected to be official sooner rather than later.
After making the move from Barcelona's youth academy into the senior side, the 22-year-old defender has established himself this season as a pivotal player for manager Gerardo Martino, making 18 first team appearances to cover Brazilian star Daniel Alves.
Rodgers is desperately looking to bolster his defence in the summer, as the team have conceded 35 goals in 27 domestic league games this season, more than any other team in the Premier League's top seven.
And the Reds' boss is especially concerned about signing a versatile right-back, as Glen Johnson has already missed eight games during the first half of the season due to injuries while youngster Jon Flanagan is still to prove his worth as a consistent cover for the English international.
Montoya was earmarked as the main target as he also can feature on the left flank, but with his renewal set to be confirmed, it looks that Rodgers will have to look somewhere else to find a defender.
Meanwhile, reports in Spain recently claimed that Liverpool tried to sign Atletico Madrid's Javier Manquillo during the January transfer window, launching a £8m bid to secure the services of the under 21 international right back.