Gareth Barry explains why he chose Manchester City over Liverpool

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Football News

Gareth Barry has revealed the reasons why he rejected a move to Liverpool in favour of Manchester City when leaving Aston Villa in 2009.

The 35-year-old will equal a significant Premier League record when he takes to the field against the Reds for Everton on Wednesday night in what will be his 571st start in England's top flight. That will draw him level with David James, but he is certain to break the mark in the coming days.

Now in the dusk of a successful career, Barry has been reflecting on the biggest moments within it. One such moment came seven years ago when both Manchester City and Liverpool agreed £21million fees with Aston Villa for his transfer.


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Barry had a huge decision to make. Liverpool were a big club while Manchester City were still in the early stages of turning themselves into serious title contenders. It should have been an easy choice.

But it was the Citizens who eventually won the race. He would go on to make over 100 of his Premier League appearances for City and win his one and only major honour; a Premier League title in 2012.


It could have been so different, however, had Rafa Benitez, then Liverpool's manager, been more convincing when the pair met.

"I met the City manager Mark Hughes in a hotel. He emphasised the ambition of the owners. He described it as a speeding train and his advice was to jump on," Barry told the Daily Mail.

"I also spoke to Rafa Benitez at Liverpool but he didn't completely convince me. He said he wanted me to come in, play left-back, left-midfield, centre-midfield. That's what I'd done at Villa, it wasn't for me anymore.

"It appealed to me that City hadn't won a trophy for so long and I'd be part of the team to end it. I chose them."


Not only that but Barry was also left unimpressed with the way the Reds attempted to haggle with Aston Villa while agreeing to pay an excessive £21m for Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane.

"That didn't personally go down well with me," admitted Barry.

Telling Stevie

Having made his decision, Barry then had to face up to telling his England international team-mate Steven Gerrard that he would not be joining him at Anfield. Barry recalls how the Liverpool captain contacted him in a last-ditch attempt to coax him to the club.

He continued: "Steven had heard I'd agreed terms with City and called me up. 'Are you sure you've made your mind up? Is there anything that can change your mind? Tell me it isn't the money.'

"I took it as a huge compliment Steven wanted me at Liverpool. I said it wasn't just the money, my mind was made up and Manchester City was the right one. In hindsight, it was the right decision."

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Transfer News
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Gareth Barry
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