Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday August 2 2008
Not sure anyone can make a clear comment on this as, following a statement the other day saying that Gareth Barry was staying at Villa, it appears the England midfielder is still playing his face up and wants out.
Martin O'Neill said on the radio, sounding very fed up, and later on the official site:
'We had a meeting last Monday with Gareth and his agent at which we all agreed we would have a 5pm deadline on Wednesday and if Liverpool had not proved they had the wherewithal to proceed with the transfer deal then we would all leave that aside and move on. I was hoping that would be the case and this was not a matter of Liverpool missing the deadline by 15 minutes, as seems to have been reported. Liverpool first showed their interest in signing Gareth Barry almost four months ago, so this is not a case of missing a deadline by 15 minutes. That's simply not true. The following morning we were very upbeat on the strength of what had happened on Wednesday evening. We were very buoyant and optimistic that everything could come back to normal again.'
'That wasn't to be though. On Thursday there was a meeting between Gareth's agent, myself and the player. Even though the deadline had passed they still felt Liverpool were going to come in and do the deal. Obviously I was disappointed to hear that. Gareth's head is a bit all over the place at the moment and they asked for some more time.'
O'Neill concluded that he has 'reluctantly' agreed to let them sort it and and there is now no deadline and what is surely in anger and frustration added:
'There will be no deadline and Liverpool have all the time in the world now to sign Gareth Barry. They've got up to the normal window, which is the 31st of this month.'
Adding: 'I have a football club to run and I really do want people who want to play for us. If Liverpool at the end of it all do not come up with the money, that's no-one else's fault but their own. I'd be delighted if that was the case and Gareth stayed. But I would doubt that very much. The ball is very much in their court.'
Was behind Barry all the way, but now this saga has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, obviously the support we all gave him the other day meant nothing and he should be forced by the club to put in a transfer request officially.
Must admit I can't see how he'll be accepted back now but then, football is a funny old game and remember, we are all fickle.
Fans were mixed at Reading today, if they'd all know this before the game, I think there wouldn't have been as much of a mix though, most were singing his name and cheering, I'm sure that would have turned to jeers!
Personally if I was Barry I'd see that Liverpool don't rate him that highly, otherwise his transfer would have happened before Robbie Keanes. The grass isn't always greener on the other side but I hope Barry enjoys life on the bench, at least it will give him a nice view.
Date:Saturday August 2 2008
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