Date: 23rd April 2008 at 1:51pm
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Gareth Barry really is the topic of the week, or is it month? Lets just hope it doesn’t drag on throughout the summer, I’m not sure any of our nerves could handle it could they?

Martin O’Neill has admitted in the Express & Star that Gareth Barry’s stock has risen dramatically but he will do everything he can to keep him and our other top players at Villa.

The Villa boss said: ‘He got into the England squad, then he got into the England team and he’s there on merit and he’s in a really fine position.’

He says he has to talk to Barry and his advisors in the summer as the chairman and him want to keep the best players.

The Villa boss refuses to worry about paper reports, agents or even other players, such as Steven Gerrard who was quoted saying he’d like Barry at Liverpool.

He also knows some of our other players who have performed well this season might be knocking on his door for new contracts but says he’s never seen a player who has played badly come to him to ask to have his wages reduced….. Nicely put!

In another report he seems to be refuting the claim that there is a wage ceiling at Villa,

‘If someone is worth something here and he’s doing so well, to reward him by either putting him above or alongside his peers because that’s where we stand at the time, I haven’t got a problem. I would set out the same principle at every football club.’ Adding, ‘The players know me by now and they know if they’re doing brilliantly, they don’t need to walk into my office – I can foresee these things. I will be looking at all these things with the players who have done so well. It wouldn’t matter if they signed last year – I will look at it again.’