Liverpool on red alert as Manchester City open talks to sign Aston Villa skipper Barry
Manchester City today jumped to the front of the queue to sign Aston Villa skipper Gareth Barry after lodging a £12m bid. Barry almost left Villa Park for Liverpool last season and the 28-year-old midfielder had been expected to finally make a switch to Anfield this summer. Barry Battle: The race to sign the Aston Villa star is hotting up. But as Liverpool look for ways of reaching the asking price and funding a weekly wage deal in the region of £80,000-a-week, it is understood that mega-rich City have stolen a march on their Barclays Premier League rivals. Sportsmail understands that City have twice made contact with Villa over the last 24 hours and will now sign the player if personal terms could be agreed. Engine room: Mark Hughes wants extra quality alongside Stephen Ireland. Talks with Barry could even start this afternoon if he is givenpermission by the FA to briefly leave the England training camp wherehe is preparing for Saturday's World Cup Qualifier in Kazakhstan. City manager Mark Hughes has earmarked five Premier League playershe wishes to sign this summer, including Manchester United's CarlosTevez, Everton's Joleon Lescott, Arsenal's Kolo Toure and Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch.
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