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Villa plan Barry talks
23 Aug 2006 - 09:03:46
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is ready to hand Gareth Barry a new contract in an attempt to persuade him to stay at the club.
Barry attracted interest from Tottenham, Newcastle and Portsmouth during the summer, after revealing he was fed up with Villa's lack of success.
However, O'Neill views the versatile 25-year-old as a key figure in his plans to revive Villa's fortunes and has already made him club captain.
The ex-Celtic boss said: "We want to keep Gareth at the club. He has got two years left of his contract and I would like him to be around for longer than that.
"I see no reason why we shouldn't be thinking now about a new contract.
"It's normally between a year and two years left when people would sit down and talk anyway. There might be an opportunity for us to do it.
"But nothing has been resolved. Whatever disillusionment Gareth felt about the place might not have all dissipated.
"I'm hopeful we can keep him but nothing is guaranteed. I have spoken to Gareth and he knows my views. I think he would get the message, we want him to stay.
"But when you have had a fairly lengthy time at a club, you keep your counsel for a while and that might be Gareth's view. I can't say I'm in control of the situation but I'm trying to do something about it."