Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday December 1 2006
Harry Redknapp has admitted he'd have liked to have signed Stiliyan Petrov and Gareth Barry for Portsmouth.
'Appy 'Arry said: 'They are both top players - players that I wanted - but in the end they became a bit too expensive for us. Then Barry decided to stay and, when Martin was appointed Villa manager, I knew Petrov would go there.' 'Arry bid £4.5million for Barry, wonder what he'd be worth now?
Thank God Barry did stay, I guess if the former manager, what was his name again, had stayed a good few would have been off last summer.
Martin O'Neill has said that Villa would have 'been in a lot of trouble if he had left'.
'Gareth was definitely pondering his future at the time I arrived here and I think he was quite close to leaving. I can only say I am delighted he stayed on and he has proved himself this season. He is playing at the top of his form and he has been fantastic here. He has been fantastic for Villa for a long time but he certainly seems to have stepped up a gear again. I am pleased he stayed on because we would have been in a lot of trouble had he left.'
'I wouldn't have been able to have found a replacement like him at all in the time given. I am not so sure I would have been able to find a replacement if we had three or four months to try and do it. He is really top class. He is a talented boy and has got a big appetite to do the work. His heart and soul is in the football club.'
Date:Friday December 1 2006
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