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MrJibbles

Barry to Liverpool this summer? Bank on it, if you dare

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Martin O’Neill has told Gareth Barry that he is free to play in the Champions League next season, regardless of whether Aston Villa qualify. The manager will offer his blessing for the England midfield player to leave should Villa fall short in their attempt to break into the top four of the Barclays Premier League.Villa slipped below Arsenal into fifth place last weekend and tomorrow they travel to Liverpool, who are certain to return to lead the chase for Barry should Villa falter. Villa have lost their rhythm just as Liverpool have found theirs and, after big victories over Real Madrid and Manchester United, Rafael Benítez finally signed his long-term contract this week, and the Liverpool manager was told he would have at least £30 million to strengthen his squad this summer.It was Liverpool’s failure to land Barry last summer, when O’Neill refused to budge from his £18 million asking price, that took the Spaniard to the brink of leaving Anfield. With only one year remaining on his contract, Barry would be allowed to leave at a vastly reduced prize this year, should Villa fail to earn a Champions League place.Not that Villa are throwing in the towel just yet. “In the summertime, if we qualify for the Champions League, then, subject to terms being right, there’d be a decent chance Gareth Barry would stay,” O’Neill, who persuaded Barry last August to stay for an effort to lead Villa into the Champions League, said. “There’s nothing set in stone but that’s what he’s said himself.“My stance has not changed. If I asked him last year, with two years remaining on his contract, could he give us another year and see how we do, then I don’t think anyone would begrudge him leaving after giving the football club almost 11 years of service. Also, he’d have one year left on contract, not two, and so circumstances have changed.“If we didn’t make it, the chance for him to go and play in the Champions League is not something I would begrudge him. I think he has \. The crowd have taken to him, something he may have been concerned about last summer, but there’s a genuine appreciation here of what he’s done.”Barry has been outstanding for Villa again this season, hitting top form even when the team have dipped over the past month, and while he has admitted that tomorrow will be a special challenge, considering how close he came to joining Liverpool, O’Neill does not expect his captain to change his game. “He’s been motivated this season,” the manager said. “I don’t think you should check your calendar and think ‘this is the game for me’. Gareth Barry is a very capable player.“Ironically, he didn’t play in the 2-2 draw there last season. So we are capable of going to Anfield and getting a result. It’s not something I’d be fearful of, even if I have got great respect for the club, the team and the manager.”O’Neill fell out with Benítez over the protracted pursuit of Barry and, should Villa have to settle for qualifying for the Uefa Cup, it is by no means certain Barry would join Liverpool. “I might not even have to go all through this,” O’Neill said. “We might not qualify and he might stay. Who’s to say? Liverpool might come in for him, I don’t know; Arsenal might come in for him, I don’t know; Man United might come in for him, I don’t know; Chelsea might come in for him, I don’t know.”O’Neill does not believe that tomorrow’s game could be decided by Barry’s battle with Steven Gerrard, and made the point that his captain is allowed to play with more freedom with Villa than for England, when he usually plays behind Gerrard or Frank Lampard. Since he also believes that Gerrard and Fernando Torres are “two of the best players in world football”, O’Neill could revert to playing five men in midfield, a formula that served Villa well when they went on a 13-match unbeaten run this season. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/foo...icle5946929.ece

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It's exactly what we wanted last year, he owed us this season and a go at the Champions League.He said the other week "there isn't anywhere I'd prefer to play at the top level than here". But deep down he wants to go and pass sideways to Gerrard.I won't begrudge him the move - 'cos giving us this year was vital.He's a class act and he'll end up playing more often than not for redscouse.I just hope he goes ASAP rather than it dragging out all Summer.Plus - the way we play in a 4-4-2 leaves our centre midfield very open. Petrov has been our best player this season - maybe second to Luke Young but definitely our best midfielder.But with the Wingers pushing up, our centre mids get exposed because between them they don't have the legs to get forward.So perhaps letting Barry go and signing someone who is more mobile wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

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Plus - the way we play in a 4-4-2 leaves our centre midfield very open. Petrov has been our best player this season - maybe second to Luke Young but definitely our best midfielder.But with the Wingers pushing up, our centre mids get exposed because between them they don't have the legs
I guess thats why O’Neill is thinking of reverting to playing 5 in midfield.

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Would rather have Alonso all day over this overarrated c*nt anyway.Plus with Spearing and Lucas still at the club n showing promising signs I would rather we spent the said 18m on David Silva or put that towards other monies and get David Villa.

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JJ,Who would you like to fill Barrys role?
Realistically, Steven Defour.De La Red was the one lined up last Summer, but Barry didn't go and we obviously can't sign him now due to health problems.There was also talk we asked about your very own Joe Cole in January because apparently Scolari didn't rate him that highly and wanted to raise funds for a replacement? I don't know how true it is but Villa in-the-knows are adamant there was intrest.. Doubt he'd come though.Although if we could sign someone with a bit more about them upfront (Vagner Love?) we could just put Nige back into the middle but right now in our current system there is a big emphasis on our cm's.PS if we sign Darren Fletcher as Barry replacement I will slit my wrists.

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alonso>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Barry
Exactly don't know whats Rafas infacutation with Barry. Rafa treated Alonso like a d*ckhead last summer about the whole situation aswell

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Give a sh*t.Mediocre player going to a mediocre club, meh.Oh yeah I forgot Stevie G is there innit.Straight world class business.

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No elite in the know or anything, but this is definitely on for the Summer.I've been told (not read on the internet) but someone who knows someone who knows someone that we've quoted you the price and if we don't get 4th Barry wants to talk to Liverpool.Dunno what the price is but I'd imagine it would be between 9-11million.

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Guest Wavelength
It's exactly what we wanted last year, he owed us this season and a go at the Champions League.He said the other week "there isn't anywhere I'd prefer to play at the top level than here". But deep down he wants to go and pass sideways to Gerrard.I won't begrudge him the move - 'cos giving us this year was vital.He's a class act and he'll end up playing more often than not for redscouse.I just hope he goes ASAP rather than it dragging out all Summer.Plus - the way we play in a 4-4-2 leaves our centre midfield very open. Petrov has been our best player this season - maybe second to Luke Young but definitely our best midfielder.But with the Wingers pushing up, our centre mids get exposed because between them they don't have the legs to get forward.So perhaps letting Barry go and signing someone who is more mobile wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
PMSL

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f*ck Barry.If he does come to pool I doubt he'll get many games, better he stays at AV tbh.

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LOL @ your sig. TBH i feel we have other areas to think about, before we think about barry.But in Rafa we trust, hey.

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Rafa is gonna shot Xabi to Madrid for 30millionwatch itwe will sign Barry and he will win player of the year and sign David Villa with the doloeveryone is happy and we win the league*puts henny down*

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The thing about us signing another top striker makes you wonder where Gerrard will play though. Will be interesting.

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he can go play right backits true though this formation limits the team on a next level because we are nowhere NEAR as effective with a 4-4-2im shook of buying strikers after KeaneSilva + Maxi + Srna ftw---------Torres-----------Silva-----Gerrard--------Maxi-------------Mascherano---Barry-------------Aurelio/Insua---Skrtel--Agger----Srna------------Reina-------------------WOW*plays fm*

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Really does leave us limited. Cos no top striker is gonna wanna sit on the bench, but we need another good striker.

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