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Barry makes Villa promise

Image: Barry: Targeting place in top four

Gareth Barry has confirmed he will definitely stay at Aston Villa if the club can qualify for the Champions League.

Midfielder will stay if Champions League football is secured

Gareth Barry has confirmed he will definitely stay at Aston Villa if the club can qualify for the UEFA Champions League. The £18million-rated England midfielder looked set to leave Villa Park in the summer due to his desire to play in Europe's premier club competition, much to the disappointment of manager Martin O'Neill. Liverpool failed with four bids to secure Barry as the Reds were unwilling to meet Villa's valuation, while Arsenal and Chelsea also expressed an interest in a drawn-out summer transfer saga. After it became clear that O'Neill was not prepared to allow one of his star assets to leave, Barry committed his short-term future to the club, but rumours persist that the 27-year-old will again look for pastures new in the summer. However, Barry - who has previously said that he will not make an announcement on his long-term career until May - has now stated that he will remain at Villa if O'Neill's men finish in the top four of the Premier League this campaign.


"That would be a massive achievement for this club," Barry told Sky Sports News when asked about the possibility of Villa breaking the monopoly of Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. "If I am playing Champions League football, there is no need to look elsewhere. "That would have to be a definite. I don't want to be eating my own words." Meanwhile, Barry has reiterated his wish to put pre-season conjecture linking him with Liverpool in the past. "The summer is all gone and as soon as I knew I would be at Aston Villa it was 100 per cent for them," he added.
Barry was also fined and banned from the club's training ground in pre-season after he was quoted in a Sunday newspaper expressing disappointment with O'Neill for his refusal to allow him to move to Anfield. And Barry admits that he has learned from the experience and is eager to forget the episode. "It was a shock to the system," he continued. "If you were to tell me at the start of pre-season that I would be banned from training ground, I would have laughed in your face. "There are a set of rules. I respected it and we move on. "The article is something I won't ever talk about. It is in the past. I learned a lot from that. You always regret things that happen."

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