Arsenal monitor Liverpool midfield target: might push Rafa to meet asking price

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Arsene Wenger looks to put the pressure on Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez in one of the longest transfer sagas of the summer, by showing an interest in one of the Spaniards long-term targets.

Word from London is that Arsenal are monitoring the Gareth Barry situation. The Anfield club have been bombarding Villa Park with bids for the England midfielder, only to be knocked back every time. The Villans are fed up of Liverpool’s stalling tactics, meaning that Arsenal can storm in with a bid that meets the long-standing £18 million asking price.

Martin O’Neill revealed that he had spoken to Arsenal assistant Pat Rice, who was eager to know how Liverpool were getting on:

“He [Pat Rice] phoned Steve [Walford, Villa first team coach] to ask how the Liverpool thing had gone and said that they might show an interest.

At the end of the conversation Arsenal said ‘that’s fine’ and that they’ll let us know. That’s exactly what happened.

This could be just what Liverpool fans need to hear, as Rafa has been hanging out for a bargain all summer. With another interested party on the scene, tight-pocketeted Rafa may be forced to dig a little deeper to team Steven Gerrard up with his bezzie mate.

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