Barry urged to sign new deal

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Gareth Barry returns to the Aston Villa side on Wednesday night for the resumption of their UEFA Cup campaign - with striker Gabriel Agbonlahor urging him to sign a new contract.

Stand-in captain Barry was suspended for the FA Cup fifth-round reversal at Everton on Sunday after incurring five yellow cards this season, but the England midfielder is available for the home first-leg clash with CSKA Moscow before another crucial encounter at the weekend against Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League.

Agbonlahor told PA Sport: "I think Gareth ought to sign a new contract. It would show our expectations for the rest of the season and next season."

He added: "I don't really like commenting on him but it would mean a lot, especially for the young lads because he's been here so long."

Barry has only 18 months left of his current deal after a proposed £18 million move to Liverpool last summer never materialised.

But Agbonlahor believes it would send out a message of intent if the 28-year-old puts pen to paper on a new deal.

He added: "I'd like him to stay at the club but obviously it's his choice what he does. If he stays and Stiliyan Petrov signs his new contract, it will be good for the club.

"Gareth is really good with the whole team and that's why it's been good that he's been captain because he sets a good example."

Agbonlahor admitted: "I used to watch him a lot when I was coming through the ranks here. He's been at Villa a long time and he hasn't missed many games either.

"He does seem like an old man to me! But he doesn't look it, he looks young, and he doesn't play like it."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Europa League
European News
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Stiliyan Petrov
Gareth Barry
Premier League
Aston Villa
FA Cup

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