Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday June 13 2008
I'm bored! I'm not a mad fan of close season anyway, not many of us are I would guess (because I'm clever like that) but at least usually there are some decent rumours and gossip about who is coming to Villa Park! Fair enough, only 1% turn out to be true - although strangely the ones on the exits seem to be 99% true, but at least they pass the time of day!
Talking about exits.....?!
The papers are full of Gareth Barry articles again today, I think they want him to move to Liverpool the way some are talking although I guess it is interesting for them as well that Villa are no longer jumping at the first offer for a player like previous years. The Daily Star reckon that we'll hold out for £20million. The amount quoted as bid by the Anfield lot differs from paper to paper, some say they've gone to around £13million, others higher. Not sure I care to be honest, IF they want him, they have to pay what we want and that appears to be above £15million. Simple as that really. Or is it? Lets face it, they are in debt up to their eye balls with owners the fans don't want at the club.
Best way to negotiate is:
Liverpool: 'We'll meet in the middle'.
Villa: Ok, fine. £20million !
Martin O'Neill said life would go on if the Villa skipper did leave, although he also admits it would be a setback to his plans to bolster the squad. 'It's very frustrating. We finished sixth last year and he was a major part of that.' Adding, 'But if Manchester United are struggling to keep hold of Ronaldo then the rest of us are in a bit of trouble. It's difficult but if we have to go on without Gareth Barry then we'll still have a go. Gareth and I had a little chat when he got back from holiday and he has said he would fancy going to Liverpool. That's obviously a big setback to us, but the offer from Liverpool is just not acceptable.'
Meanwhile Curtis Davies, who I assume will count as our first summer signing after July 1st when his contract at the Baggies ends (?) says he would love Gareth Barry to stay at Villa. 'Gareth has been outstanding this last season - an England regular, one of the first names on the team-sheet, so you can't praise him highly enough. He is the captain, he leads by example and the way he plays on the pitch. We can't afford to lose the likes of those players but you never know what happens in football.'
Adding, 'For our ambitions as a club trying to move forward and getting into Europe, you really want to keep hold of those sort of players to kick on.'
Date:Friday June 13 2008
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