O'Neill opens door for Barry

Villa boss would not stand in midfielder's way if he sought exit

By James Dall   Last updated: 1st May 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

O'Neill opens door for Barry

Barry: Future uncertain

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill would not stand in Gareth Barry's way should the midfielder desire a move to a top-four side.

After a hugely protracted saga last summer, Barry ultimately remained at Villa Park despite strong interest from Liverpool.

It is reported the Reds could make a fresh bid for his services at the end of this season, with Villa all-but out of the running for a UEFA Champions League berth.

O'Neill would still prefer to keep the England international in the Midlands, but confirmed on Friday he will allow Barry to leave if he so chooses.

The Villa boss said on Sky Sports News: "If he wanted to go this season, having asked previously for the extra year, then I wouldn't begrudge him that opportunity to go if a top-four side has come in.

"So from that viewpoint, that is something that has remained pretty constant.

"The overriding aspect is of course that we would love him to stay at this football club and I think that would be a great boost if that was the case.

"But I have not given it any more consideration."

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