It appears Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has given up any hope of keeping his skipper and that should open the door for a long awaited Anfield move, however, does Rafa still have some cash left?
Martin O’Neill says Gareth Barry is free to leave Aston Villa. The manager conceded yesterday that it was “clear as daylight” that Barry would get his wish to join Liverpool this month if they could raise the money.
O’Neill had said on Wednesday that Barry was staying at Villa Park after Liverpool missed a deadline to table an £18m bid. But Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has now been told he can have the England midfielder if he matches Villa’s valuation after Barry and his agent, Alex Black, met O’Neill on Thursday morning and pleaded for him to soften his stance.
O’Neill said: “It is as clear as daylight that Gareth wants to go and Liverpool now have as long as they like to find the money. Liverpool will obviously get their wish and Gareth will get his wish at some stage or another.
“There is no point going on any further. The chairman [Randy Lerner] and myself are disappointed, but that’s the way it is. It is up to Liverpool and Gareth and his agent. The ball is firmly in Liverpool’s court.”
O’Neill is unimpressed that Liverpool found the money to sign Robbie Keane in midweek but have been reluctant to match Villa’s valuation of Barry. “Liverpool made their intentions clear to sign Gareth almost four months ago and they have known for some time what the price would be,” he said. “They have been able to find money for another player who wasn’t in the equation, certainly four months ago and two months ago. I have agreed with Gareth now. That’s it, no problem. Liverpool have all the time in the world to do it if they want to raise the money.” (Times Online)
The Villa boss seems to have admitted defeat and that all that is left is for Benitez to come up with the cash for the England international. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Liverpool decided that the price was too high. Whilst it’s true that Gareth Barry got a rousing reception when he came in the midweek Intertoto cup game it is still clear he wants to leave for Merseyside and if a sufficient offer doesn’t come from the Anfield outfit, what would happen next? Do Liverpool fans think that Rafa will come up with the cash for the 27 year old midfielder and more importantly do they think that they should use it on the Aston Villa man?