Football

O'Neill prepared for Barry compromise

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has admitted he would be content for Gareth Barry to see out the final year of his contract, even if it costs the club a sizeable transfer fee.

Villa looked set to lose Barry to Liverpool 12 months ago only for the Reds to pull out of the deal after being unwilling to meet the £18 million valuation of the player.

O'Neill said: "Nobody has been rushing around trying to make a quick decision on things. The perfect scenario would be we would love Gareth to stay on, even seeing his final year out if that is the case."

Barry would still be worth around £10 million this summer despite having only one year left of his contract.

O'Neill would ideally like to hold on to the England midfielder if Barry refuses to sign long term and is content to wind down his existing deal.

But he will stick by his promise to allow Barry to leave and realise his dream of playing Champions League football if one of the 'big four' clubs want to sign him.

O'Neill added: "I have had very amicable discussions with Gareth's new agent (Michael Standing). There has been no hidden agenda by any stretch of the imagination."

"The chairman's position (Randy Lerner) and mine hasn't really changed. We are not running around worrying about trying to cash in (on Barry)."

Liverpool are expected to again be in the hunt for Barry amid speculation that Xabi Alonso could move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

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Topics:
European News
Football
Gareth Barry
Premier League
Xabi Alonso
UEFA Champions League
Aston Villa
Liverpool

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