Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez had set his mind to securing this England international but it appears that Arsene Wenger is planning a late attempt to beat him to the punch!
Arsenal have been linked with a late bid to sign Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry.
It had been thought the England international would eventually be heading to Liverpool, with the Anfield club having already made three unsuccessful bids for the player.
Barry has even expressed his desire to play under Rafa Benitez, and in turn get regular Champions League football, but that was before Arsenal showed their hand.
According to the Sun, manager Arsene Wenger declared his interest in midweek and Arsenal officials have contacted Villa to find out the latest position.
No official bid has been made by the north London club for Barry, but it is understood they are willing to make a player-plus-cash deal, possibly involving Justin Hoyte.
Villa are holding out for £18m, a figure Liverpool have yet to match, giving Arsenal hope of snatching the player from under their noses. (Daily Telegraph)
Gareth Barry has surely played his last game for Aston Villa but all the back and forth between Martin O’Neill and Liverpool regarding a suitable fee for the England man may have led to Wenger planning to sneak in with his own bid. The Gunners boss may see the 27 year old as a perfect replacement for Mathieu Flamini and given the cash injection likely to come from the probable sales of Hleb and Adebayor they may well have the money to outbid the Merseyside outfit. Do Arsenal fans think that the Villa skipper has what it takes to fill the Flamster’s boots?