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Mercato Madness: Martin Montoya may want out of Barcelona, and Napoli is interested

Barcelona's 23 year old right back is discontent with his role in the side, and reports from Spain indicate that he may want out in January.

Alex Caparros

This past summer, there was a long and drawn-out drama in Spain between Barcelona and young fullback Martin Montoya. The 23 year old is thought be many to be one of the next generation of stars at the position, but hadn't played much the season before while his contract was running down. Eventually Montoya signed a new deal through 2018 despite significant interest from abroad, but it was thought that all was not happy fun times between the player and Barcelona.

Despite assurances made when that contract was signed, however Montoya has played just one match this season. This comes in the face of the poor form of Dani Alves, and even when Alves was out recently, left back Adriano started on the right instead of Montoya. An apparently embarrassed Montoya has had enough, and according to Spanish outlet AShe's considering making a transfer request.

That's not to say that Montoya will lodge the request, only that he's considering it, and even if he does a request is not a guarantee that he will be transferred. Especially in the face of Juventus' interest in Alves this winter with his own contract running out this season, Barca would very likely prefer to keep Montoya's talents in their squad moving forward.

If Barca do move him though, Napoli are apparently still very interested after pursuing Montoya in the summer. The fit makes a lot of sense: Napoli need a right back of the future with Christian Maggio wearing down, and frankly Montoya is good enough to displace Maggio in the here and now, not just down the line. He can also play some on the left side, making him the perfect fit for the fullback profile that Napoli should be looking to pursue this January.

It's not clear how much it would take to get Montoya, but he wouldn't come cheap. Just from the number of teams likely to be interested, Barca will be able to sit back and let teams bid against each other. AS named Liverpool and Inter Milan as two other interested parties, though the English side may be less likely to join in the bidding given the good play of Javier Manquillo since his acquisition in the summer. There was a long list of other suitors over the summer as well, and many of them would be likely be involved again should Montoya come available.

While the likelihood of Napoli landing Montoya seems low at the moment, this is a situation well worth tracking. Montoya is hugely talented, and the presence of a high-profile Spanish manager in Rafa Benitez and a couple of Spanish internationals could prove to be useful in Napoli's efforts to recruit him. If Napoli could pull this off, it would be a coup and potentially help them take a step forward competitively in the future.