Barcelona youngster Martin Montoya may be willing to move to the Premier League on a free transfer next summer, according to the Express. The report quotes the player's agent, Jose Maria, as confirming that while his client remained committed to the Spanish champions, the fact that first team football was unavailable at the Camp Nou could persuade the 22-year-old to move clubs next season.
Montoya's contract expires at the end of this season and the Catalans have yet to open talks over an extension. According to the Express, Arsenal and Liverpool are interested in his client, although he also named Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and 2010 Champions League winners Inter Milan as possible destinations.
"For the moment he is under contract with FC Barcelona until the end of the season. However, the contract extension has still not arrived. We have talked but there is no certainty that Martin Montoya would hold down a first-team spot, because right now Daniel Alves closes the door," Maria told Sky Sports Italia.
"The transfer window is closed, but I can tell you that the contract extension may not be successful. In the past, Inter Milan, Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen, Dortmund and Liverpool were interested. Anything could happen between now and June," he added.
Montoya at Emirates or Anfield
The Gunners have French international Bacary Sagna as the first choice right-back for now. However, the French international will be 31 before the start of next season and has yet to agree an extension to his present deal, which, interestingly, expires next summer too. A move for Montoya might come at just the right time for Arsene Wenger, for whom the young Spaniard ticks several boxes - he will be available on the cheap, he is extremely talented but has experience at the highest levels and is a long-term signing.
Brendan Rodgers may re-ignite his interest in Montoya as he looks to build a solid squad capable of challenging for the Premier League title. The Anfield side have one of the finest right-backs in English football - Glen Johnson. But a back-up of the quality of Montoya would certainly not go amiss.
Alan Smith on Mesut Ozil
Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has hailed the transfer deadline day signing of German international Mesut Ozil. Rated as the finest No 10 in world football by former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, Ozil was a club record £42.4m signing from the Santiago Bernabeu side. However, Smith, who scored 115 goals from 347 appearances for the north London side, believes Ozil alone cannot solve all his former club's problems.
"The signing of Mesut Ozil has lifted everyone at the football club. It's lifted the fans and taken a bit of the heat off Arsene Wenger. They do need more than that though and it doesn't solve all their problems though," Smith told talkSPORT.