Date: 19th June 2008 at 11:05am
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There was an interesting report yesterday in the Birmingham Post by Rob Tanner which quotes former Liverpool legend John Barnes as saying Gareth Barry doesn’t need to move from Villa in order to realise his Champions League dream or to cement his place in the England team.

The former England star says it was different in his day and he had to make the move from Watford to Anfield to push his credentials, however he feels that Barry can do all he wants in his career at Villa.

He explains that the Watford fans knew he had to be sold but adds ‘Aston Villa is a much bigger club than Watford and have Champions League aspirations, so it is a much more difficult decision for Gareth than it was for me. On the plus side, money talks these days. Watford may have said they didn’t need the £900,000 Liverpool paid for me and they wanted me to stay, I would have been happy to stay. In the current climate, everyone has their price in modern football. Villa may be an ambitious club and they would like to keep Gareth Barry but if Liverpool offer £50 million, are they going to take it? Probably.’

He says it is now up to Villa if they accept a suitable bid, if not he is sure that Gareth Barry, being the professional he is, will stay at Villa and do his job and adds ‘He has already got England recognition from playing for Villa and he doesn’t need to leave Villa to play for England regularly. By the same token, Villa are looking to break into the top four. They nearly did it last year and will feel they can push on and finish in the top four this time, and qualify for the Champions League.