O'Neill admits Barry could leave

02 August 2008 05:45
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has not ruled out the possibility of Gareth Barry completing his move to Liverpool before the transfer window closes at the end of this month. Earlier in the week the proposed transfer appeared to have no chance of going through when Villa said the Reds had failed to beat the final deadline to conclude the deal. However, O'Neill has now admitted to Villa's official website: "We had a meeting last Monday with Gareth and his agent at which we all agreed we would have a 5pm deadline on Wednesday. "If Liverpool had not proved they had the wherewithal to proceed with the transfer deal then we would all leave that aside and go on with it. "I was hoping that would be the case and this was not a matter of Liverpool missing the deadline by 15 minutes, as seems to have been reported. "Liverpool first showed their interest in signing Gareth Barry almost four months ago, so this is not a case of missing a deadline by 15 minutes. That's simply not true. "The following morning we were very upbeat on the strength of what had happened on Wednesday evening. We were very buoyant and optimistic that everything could come back to normal again. "That wasn't to be though. On Thursday there was a meeting between Gareth's agent, myself and the player. They still felt that even though the deadline had passed, Liverpool were going to come in and do the deal. "Obviously I was disappointed to hear that. Gareth's head is a bit all over the place at the moment and they asked for some more time. "So I've listened to what they've said and I'll go with it - reluctantly but I'll go with it. There will be no deadline and Liverpool have all the time in the world now to sign Gareth Barry. They've got up to the normal window, which is the 31st of this month. "So it's really up to them, Gareth and his agent to sort it out. I've decided this is the only way forward for us really. "I have a football club to run and I really do want people who want to play for us. If Liverpool at the end of it all do not come up with the money, that's no-one else's fault but their own. "I'd be delighted if that was the case and Gareth stayed. But I would doubt that very much. The ball is very much in their court."

Source: ESA