Barry: City will challenge for honours

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Football News

Gareth Barry has spoken of Manchester City's potential to be a "major force" as the main reason behind his shock move to Eastlands in a letter to Aston Villa fans.

The midfielder spent 12 years at Villa Park before completing a whirlwind £12million switch on Tuesday.

In a letter to fans published in the Birmingham Mail, Barry said: "Once I had spoken to (City manager) Mark Hughes there was nowhere else I wanted to go. I was also desperate to avoid any long, drawn-out saga."

Barry had voiced his desire to sign for Liverpool last summer and play Champions League football and Reds boss Rafael Benitez was expected to launch another bid after failing to match Villa's £18million valuation last year.

The England player's move to the Premier League's richest club is sure to go down badly with Villa fans, who initially booed him at the start of last season but came to respect his commitment to the cause.

"I feel I am joining a club that will seriously challenge to win major honours. People might doubt that but I am convinced, with the plans the club has short term and long term and the backing the manager will receive from the owners, that we will be a major force," Barry added.

"I have honestly been very undecided what to do, the (Villa) manager (Martin O'Neill) and the whole club have bent over backwards to try and persuade me to stay and made me a fantastic offer, which I am extremely grateful for."

Meanwhile, Brazilian midfielder Ze Roberto claims City are "top of the list" of possible destinations after he was offered only a one-year contract extension by Bayern Munich.

The 34-year-old's current deal in Bavaria expires at the end of the month and he had been hoping to receive a longer commitment from the Bundesliga club than the 12 months on the table.

"(My future) will be decided in the next few days," he told German newspaper tz. "Manchester City's interest is right at the top of the list. They want to get into Europe and I am wanted to help them."

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European News
Manchester City
Gareth Barry
Mark Hughes
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Mark Hughes
Aston Villa

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