Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Liverpool FC Back In Talks To Seal Gareth Barry Move

Liverpool are in further negotiations with Aston Villa in an attempt to finally seal the transfer of Gareth Barry.

The Midlanders have sent their Anfield counterparts a letter outlining their demands for the England international midfielder.

It is understood the asking price remains at £18m, with Villa manager O’Neill prepared to lower that to £17m if Steve Finnan heads to Villa Park in part-exchange.

While Liverpool value Finnan at £2m, Villa believe the right-back is worth only half as he has already entered the final year of his contract.

Any agreement will also hinge on the method of payment, with Villa insistent that Liverpool follow the traditional Premier League structure of half the money down immediately and the rest in 12 months’ time.

Rafael Benitez has previously been unwilling to spend £18m on Barry, valuing the player nearer the £15m mark.

However, O’Neill is confident the situation will soon be resolved.

“Liverpool have come back to us and we have responded to their proposal with a letter,’’ said the Villa manager yesterday. “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.”

Villa have already made plans for life without their skipper Barry, with Steve Sidwell expected to be unveiled today after finalising his move from Chelsea.

Meanwhile, newly-promoted Stoke City are reportedly ready to raid Liverpool as they seek to bolster their squad for their first-ever Premier League campaign.

Manager Tony Pulis has been monitoring goalkeeper Scott Carson’s situation, although Moroccan international Nabil El Zhar is a more attainable target.

The Reds’ youngster Lucas Leiva has been included in Brazil’s squad for the Olympic Games football tournament next month in Beijing.

And with Javier Mascherano having already been named in the defending champions Argentina’s squad, it means Liverpool are poised to be without both their South American central midfielders for the start of the new Premier League season, which begins with a trip to Sunderland on August 16.

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