Villa desperate to keep Barry

24 April 2008 08:07
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has revealed he will push the boat out in an attempt to keep hold of captain Gareth Barry. The England midfielder has been linked with summer moves to Liverpool and Chelsea in recent weeks after an impressive season for the Midlands club. Barry also fuelled speculation that he could end his 11-year association with Villa at the end of the season if talks over the future of the club do not match his own ambition. However, O'Neill is desperate to keep hold of his skipper and has suggested he will pull out all the stops with a lucrative new contract in a bid to keep the 27-year-old at Villa Park. "As manager of the club I will sit down with the chairman and we are going to do our best to keep hold of the players," he said. "Gareth Barry obviously comes into that category. He is our captain, one of our top players and in the England side on merit after an outstanding season. "We're in the business of professional football, trying to achieve as much as we possibly can, and knowing your competitors are putting high stakes on things. "If players are doing well and are deserving of new contracts or renegotiated deals, I have not got a problem with that. "If someone is worth something here and you reward him by putting him above or alongside his peers, I have also not got a problem with that." Meanwhile, O'Neill has also revealed he hopes to persuade Netherlands international defender Wilfred Bouma to sign a new long-term contract.

Source: ESA

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