Villa manager tells Liverpool that the deadline has passed on £17.5m midfielder: Could the saga really be over?

Liverpool supporters can forget about their dream of watching Steven Gerrard and Gareth Barry linking up next season. After nearing the completion of a deal this evening that would have seen Liverpool pull off a shock move for Barry, Villa manager Martin O’Neill decided to put a halt to the final negotiations by telling Rafa that the deadline has passed. There will be no deal!

Aston Villa have tonight responded to speculation they were close to selling Gareth Barry to Liverpool by saying he will now remain with the club. It was believed this afternoon that talks were nearing completion between the two clubs, with Liverpool set to pay £17.5m and send right-back Steve Finnan to Villa Park, but Villa have stated that a deadline for the deal has passed and the move is off.

“This evening Aston Villa can announce that Gareth Barry will be staying with the club following the interest from Liverpool over recent months,” said a Villa statement. “During discussions in the past few days, a final deadline to conclude this episode was set that all parties were aware of and agreed to. This deadline has now passed and so Gareth will remain with Villa.” (The Guardian)

WOW! I am usually the type that trusts the whole Guardian lot, so for the paper to say that the two clubs were nearing “completion” of a deal comes as a bit of a shock. Were Liverpool really on Villa’s doorstep nearing a final agreement for their skipper? Who knew that adding Finnan to the deal was enough to force negotiations into the final stages?! Regardless, it looks like this deal is now dead in the water.

Could we really be seeing the end of the Gareth Barry saga? Pinch me, I think I’m dreaming!

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