Don’t get Martin O’Neill mad. The Northern Irishman has got one hell of a temper on him and, like a dog with a bone, the Aston Villa manager is mad keen to retain the services of Gareth Barry at the Midlands club. This will serve the dual purpose of keeping arguably Villa’s best player, while also sending out a message that they are not a selling club and aren’t too far away from challenging the ‘Big Four’.
The Guardian reports that O’Neill found Liverpool’s £10million offer for his midfielder nothing short of ludicrous and claims that all this transfer speculation has effected the Villa captain. Perhaps he’s secretly pleased that they’ve lodged such a derisory bid for Barry and that they’ll now go and pursue other players after being told where to shove their ten mill.
“I must clarify this point, as we speak, we are a million miles away [from Barry joining Liverpool],” said O’Neill, who was upset that details of the bid were leaked on Merseyside. “At the moment, it would be like me offering £20m for [Lionel] Messi. Barcelona would say, ‘So what?’ That’s not saying that Messi would want to come.” Asked whether Liverpool’s bid undervalued Barry, O’Neill replied: “Absolutely, without question. This lad is playing for England.”
It also appears that Liverpool offered a couple of players along with their money for Barry, which was instantly rebuffed by O’Neill as presumptuous that he’d want the cast-offs at his club. One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot of love for the midfielder at Villa Park and it will take a lorry-load of cash to dislodge him from the club he’s served so loyally.