Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has conceded it will be difficult to keep hold of Gareth Barry, but has warned Liverpool that his captain will not leave unless a sufficient bid is received.
Villa have already rejected two bids for the England international from the Anfield club, with the second believed to have been worth around £15million.
Barry has told his manager that he wants to join the Reds, but O'Neill is adamant that his 27-year-old club captain will only be allowed to leave Villa Park if Liverpool up their offer.
O'Neill had previously reacted angrily to the Reds' first approach for the services of the versatile midfielder, slamming Anfield counterpart Rafa Benitez for his public statements of intent.
"It might be difficult (to keep hold of him)," he told the BBC.
"Gareth and I had a little chat when he got back from holiday and he has said he would fancy going to Liverpool.
"That's obviously a big setback to us, but the offer from Liverpool is just not acceptable.
"It's very frustrating. He's been a splendid player for us for some considerable time and we want to try and improve because the club are capable of doing that.
"But if Manchester United are struggling to keep hold of (Cristiano) Ronaldo then the rest of us are in a bit of trouble.
"It's difficult but if we have to go on without Gareth Barry then we'll still have a go (at breaking into the top four)."