O'Neill queries Barry interest

23 August 2008 10:21
Arsenal's interest in trying to sign Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry has been called into question by Villa manager Martin O'Neill. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had hinted that he may step in to land the 27-year-old, with Barry's protracted move to Liverpool having hit the buffers. When asked if he had heard about an Arsenal bid, O'Neill told reporters: "No I haven't, not a thing. "I've heard nothing from Arsene Wenger himself, so it is strange. I read his comments and I just thought they were strange. "What I would say is that Arsene Wenger doesn't usually come out with comments like that. I accept he has made a bit of a slip. "He (Barry) is a great player and he has played exceptionally well for us in the last two games and that is the most important thing for Aston Villa. "We are delighted with his commitment and we would be delighted if he stayed. That has been our stance all the way through." Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez also claimed to know nothing of Arsenal's entry into the hunt for Barry, but did suggest that the Reds might make one last effort to sign the England international. He commented: "I have had no word about Arsenal wanting Gareth Barry and that is all I want to say on the subject. "Other than that we are working towards improving our squad."

Source: ESA