O'Neill accepts Barry situation

01 May 2009 03:03
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has admitted that midfielder Gareth Barry could finally leave the club at the end of the current campaign. The 28-year-old England international came close to joining Liverpool last summer before eventually opting to stayat Villa Park, but O'Neill accepts that a deal could finally go through if his side miss out on a top-four finish. He told Sky Sports News: "If he wanted to go this season, having asked previously for the extra year, then I wouldn't begrudge him that opportunity to go if a top-four side has come in. "So from that viewpoint, that is something that has remained pretty constant. "The overriding aspect is of course that we would love him to stay at this football club and I think that would be a great boost if that was the case. "But I have not given it any more consideration." O'Neill has already been linked with a couple of potential replacements should Barry decide to move on, with Standard Liege's Steve Defour one possible target. Villa have also been reported to be keeping tabs on Lille's France Under-21 international Yohan Cabaye.

Source: ESA