It’s a matter of time (days?) before Liverpool finally get their way and sign Gareth Barry for somewhere between £15million and £20million, depending on which newspaper you read. Unlike players such as Ronaldo, Adebayor and Hleb, The Guardian reveals that the midfielder does have a conscience about the matter and is sad about how things have turned sour between him and Martin O’Neill this summer.
Barry has not spoken publicly since he was fined two weeks’ wages and banned from pre-season training after he criticised O’Neill in an interview, but Martin Laursen revealed that the Villa captain has told him that he is “not happy with the way it has ended”. The Danish defender also admitted he felt “sad” at the manner of Barry’s departure and, mindful that Liverpool visit Villa Park in the Premier League in August, urged the club’s supporters to remember the midfielder’s contribution over the past decade.
“It is sad,” said Laursen, referring to the bitter falling out. “A player that has done so much for this club, it is sad it has ended in the way it has done. I don’t know what Gareth wants. I can only say that I am sad that the fans are angry with him now because they have to remember how much he has done for the club and that he has been a really good player. With his quality and the goals he has scored, I don’t think the fans should forget that. I hope they will keep that in mind.”
The saga had begun amicably in May, when O’Neill and Barry had initial discussions about the player’s future, with the England international deciding that he did want to leave. However, with Liverpool preparing to make only baby steps towards Villa’s asking price, it has left the duo frustrated for different reasons. There’s no doubt that the soon-to-be-ex Villans captain will get a mixed reception on his return to Villa Park, not least because the fans will feel the player has messed them around.