Date: 8th July 2008 at 2:03pm
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Martin O’Neill has hinted that Steve Sidwell will soon be Claret and Blue, and in doing so, Liverpool themselves have the potential to conclude the Barry saga.

It is expected that Steve Sidwell will be unveiled as a Villa player within the next 24 hours. In mediaspeak that means somepoint between me typing this sentance and the transfer window next January.

If this unveiling does come off as expected, it has opened the door for a proposal from Villa to Liverpool.

Martin O’Neill has been a long term admirer of Steve Finnan, unwanted by Liverpool, and could well be the key to concluding the whole mess according to the Evening Mail.

If rumours are correct, O’Neill values Barry at £18 million and is holding out for £18 million from Liverpool.

Our manager also only values Finnan at £1 million.

There is middle ground, and the Scousers get to reduce the wage bill and get rid of a player they don’t want in the process.

It is now suggested that Villa will either take £18 million or £17 million plus Finnan.

The Mail further suggest that any deal will have to be concluded on our terms with Liverpool paying up whatever fee within two years on the traditional Premier League structure of 50% upfront and the remainder in 12 months, (first I’ve heard of that) as opposed to the new structure which allows buying clubs to pay equal installments over the length of the ‘new’ contract signed with the player.

Speaking to them, presumably referring to the last failed bid, O’Neill said:

“Liverpool have come back to us and we have responded to their proposal with a letter.

“We`re still waiting to hear back from Liverpool after putting that proposal to them.

“It`s really up to Liverpool. I really don`t know how it`s going to work out at the moment.

“I`m sure there will be some sort of resolution at some stage or another.”