Date: 26th May 2009 at 12:35pm
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This is nice to see, Villa owner Randy Lerner has spoken and says he is optimistic that they can convince Gareth Barry to stay.

Lerner said: ‘We have discussed a new contract with Gareth. I would give Barry the highest ranking possible. He is the best. He is a gentleman, a great player, a pleasure to be around, a leader, a great captain. I don’t think anyone could do better than Gareth on any level. Am I optimistic Gareth will stay? Yes, I am optimistic. It is my nature.’

He also says that Martin O’Neill will deal with the situation as normal and added he would he happy to forgo any money for Barry and to let the player stay another season and leave on a free rather than lose him now.

‘Am I happy for him to wind down his current contract? That’s his decision. If it means he is staying another year, I am absolutely happy. Even though Villa would lose £10-£12 million? Yes, absolutely. You are talking about a player who is an integral part of your potential success.’

He says the fee is secondary to what players like Barry can achieve for a club.

‘You are keeping him on the team, the team continues to compete and you are rewarded with successful results. There is more to do it than foregoing money.’

He also disagrees with those that say Barry leaving would give out the wrong signals for the club, especially after Barry has been with Villa for 11 years!

He also warns potential suitors off players like Gabby Agbonlahor and Ashley Young saying categorically there is no way he can imagine that Villa would sell them.


11 Replies to “Randy Lerner Speaks!”

  • Well I wouldn’t say no to a good offer for Agbonlahor. If say, £7million was offered, I think it would have to be considered.

  • smirnoffshox – It’s alright mate – you see alot of fans know the exact value of a player you know.They know better than the manager (maybe they are privvy to stuff we don’t know)
    They bandy about figures (in another thread someone mentions 5 or 6 players – total value around £40 Million and done deal). You see playing the manager lark and knowing a good footballer is easy. Read a Lerner interview in the E&S and what he says makes more sense than quite a few on here. He is happy with the progress and the manager and how the season has finished – but we all know better don’t we?. I for one am happy with the progress – more points season on season – top 6 twice – steadying a sinking ship that was into a team that WILL go places (With or without MON) as the foundations are/have been laid by Lerner and MON.

  • Well said nazvfc, and what are u on young jonah. UP THE VILLA. Gabby is a good player who is still learning great 1st half of season poor second needs a good rest now thou.

  • well said m8, Im not going to deny that i was pretty gutted we ended up 10 points behind Arsenal in 6th place after being ahead of them for so long, but some progress has still been made and if we can do the impossible and replace Laursen this tranfer window and bring another couple of quality players in then there is no reason we can’t get even more points next season. UP THE VILLA!

  • hmmm, 2 points more and europe experience, a record away winning streak and proof that this team can compete against the top 4. Not bad for £40 million. Where would we have been if we had not spent the money, not in the top 6. Good season! I don’t think Lerner would be talking about GB in this tone unless he is more sure than he is letting on that he will stay, why run the risk of loosing face when there is no need. UTV.

  • RiF, totally agree. What RL has said and the fact Petrov has signed after he allegedly seeked assurances that Barry would stay before he signed makes me think Barry is going to stay. Astonsteve, couldn’t agree more this is a big summer for us.

  • Lovely to see Randy speak, I know the press would love him to do it a bit more but I quite like the way he has quietely gone on with his business. Massive summer for Villa and they know it as well as us as they also saw us push the top four and know 100% why we then fell away at the end.

  • No would not accept that – we are no longer a selling club like we were once. We build around our better players – we don’t sell them to start all over again – as Mr Lerner has stated.

  • Did anyone else get that warm fuzzy feeling reading the report that “Learner speaks”? I feel like Randy has put his big yankee arm round my shoulders, gently rocking me while whispering in my ear this summers transfer activity is all in hand. Feels……….warm….

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