Will Gareth Barry be a Villa, Liverpool or Arsenal player next season?

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You have to say that a move to Anfield is looking increasingly unlikely for the England midfielder. After all, Xabi Alonso is no longer dusting off to Turin, so Liverpool have the comfort of central midfield options even if Villa won’t accept their umpteenth bid for Gareth Barry.

The Independent reports that Arsenal could be just about to assume the box seat on this transfer. They’re close to offloading Gilberto to Panathinaikos for £5million, cash which can be put towards “The Barry Appeal”. This signing would make a lot of sense for the Gunners, who need some strengthening in the middle of the park, while an English face is always a refreshing change at The Emirates!

Aston Villa announced yesterday that Barry will return to training today, although at which club he will start the new season is by no means clear. The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, has let it be known to the club’s hierarchy that he rates the England midfielder highly and Wenger rarely discloses the identity of a transfer target until he is reasonably certain that he is sure of the player’s suitability. His Villa counterpart, Martin O’Neill, confirmed this week that Arsenal have made a preliminary inquiry.

Goodness me, there might be an awkward moment or two when Barry arrives at the training ground. The midfielder must have thought he’d seen the last of that place after handing in a transfer request, only to be left in limbo. Just where will this guy be playing his football next season – Aston Villa reserves?

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