Martin Montoya
Montoya. (Reuters)

Liverpool are set to suffer a huge setback in the pursuit of Barcelona right-back Martin Montoya as the Spanish international is reportedly ready to sign a four-year extension with the Catalan side.

The 22-year-old defender has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool in recent months as his current contract at Barcelona is set to expire at the end of the season and the Reds were keen to secure his services on a free transfer next summer.

However, according to Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Montoya's agent Jose Maria Orobitg and Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta met last Thursday to discuss the future of the defender and although the player is yet to put pen on paper it looks that it may happen next week.

The new deal will allow Barcelona to keep one of its most promising players until June 2018 and will prevent any club from signing him on a free transfer this summer.

Montoya made the move from Barcelona's youth academy into the senior side in 2011 and this season he has proved a consistent back-up for Brazilian international Daniel Alves, making 16 La Liga appearances under Gerardo Martino in the first team.

Despite being just 22 years old, the Catalan youngster is already considered one of the best right-backs in Spain and he is fighting with Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta for a place in next summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Rodgers is looking to add consistent cover for Glen Johnson as Jon Flanagan has so far failed to prove that he deserves a place in the first team but it looks that the former Swansea manager will have to look somewhere else – with Atletico Madrid's Javier Manquillo reportedly his new new top target.