Barry holds talks with Man City

02 June 2009 11:35
Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry is in talks with Manchester City about a move to Eastlands.Barry, 28, was linked with Liverpool in the summer of 2008 but the Reds could not meet Villa's £18m asking price. The England international has been offered a new deal to remain at Villa Park beyond the end of next season - when his current contract expires. Villa reached the Europa League by ending the 2008-09 Premier League season in sixth, four spots above City. A Villa spokesman said: "Aston Villa can confirm today that Gareth Barry is in talks with Manchester City." City's owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group, are expected to embark on a spending spree this summer but the fact that Barry is considering a move to join up with Mark Hughes' side still comes as a surprise. Barry claimed that his main reason for wanting to leave Villa in 2008 was to play Champions League football. But City finished six places and 22 points behind this season's top four in the top flight, all of whom qualify for Europe's elite club competition. Liverpool understandable but City? They're not guaranteed Champions League football by any means and Barry isn't exactly young. The Bias Neutral City will not even contest the Europa League after Everton, Villa and Fulham took the three places available to English clubs. "It's a surprise that Manchester City seem to be the preferred suitors," said BBC Radio 5 Live's Pat Murphy. "It is surely either money that is attracting Barry or the lure of putting down foundations whereby Manchester City become a serious player in the top four. "But they will not be playing Champions League football next season, whereas Villa will at least be playing in the Europa League. "Barry has been with Villa for over 10 years and I think when and if he goes he will do so with the best wishes of the Villa fans. "But I think they will be baffled that, at the moment, he would seem to have chosen Manchester City over Liverpool or Arsenal - they would have understood if he went to a Champions League club." Villa owner Randy Lerner confirmed last week that the Midlands club were in discussions with Barry regarding a new long-term deal. Barry, who has been at Villa Park since 1997, is currently preparing for England's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra. He has made 443 appearances for Villa since making his debut in 1997.

Source: BBC_Sport