The 9000th Article On The Gareth Barry Saga
John Wragg had an article in The Express yesterday quoting Martin O'Neill about the potential interest from Liverpool for Gareth Barry in the summer.
The Villa boss said: 'Benitez could be back for Barry now it looks as if he’s got some money to spend.'
Rafa has apparently been given a £30million budget for signing his new long term deal, whereas before the talk was he'd need to sell before he could buy.
O'Neill continued: 'I don’t know what Liverpool are thinking and it’s not my concern at this minute.'
Adding, Barry had said if Villa qualify for the Champions League he'd certainly be interested in staying. 'Fine. My stance has not changed. If we didn’t make it, the chance for him to go and play in the Champions League is not something I would begrudge him. Liverpool might come in: Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea – I assume Barry would want to stay in this country. Only four clubs can play in the Champions League, so there’s a limited choice.'
He also adds that he'd love to keep Barry at Villa.
Today in the Sunday Express the story suggests that Barry has signalled a 'come and get me' to Liverpool after refusing to negotiate a new contract at Villa. Surely this goes against all the other reports where he said he'd not look to move in January OR to negotiate a contract with Villa or anyone else until the season was over?
Oh and on the Official Site Brad Friedel says
"In my opinion, Gareth is world-class. He is one of the best players I have ever lined up with. We are delighted to have him at Villa. I hope he stays at Villa for a long, long time. Any club in the world would be happy to have Gareth as one of theirs. I know we are now. I would hope Gareth gets a good reception from both sets of supporters this afternoon. He did nothing wrong in the summer."
He also says Barry is a 'hard-working and good professional."
Then the only other bit of gossip I can see if the People saying MON would look to 'soften the blow' of a possible loss of Barry by signing Manchester United defender Wes Brown for around £3.5million. Yeah right, that would soften the blow of losing a world class midfielder! :-s Not that Wes isn't a good player, trouble is he has an awful injury record.