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Last Updated: Monday, 7 August 2006, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Pair provide O'Neill with boost
Aston Villa's Gareth Barry and OIof Mellberg
Barry (left) and Mellberg are happy to stay at Villa Park
Gareth Barry and Olof Mellberg will give new boss Martin O'Neill a boost by committing themselves to Aston Villa.

Defender Mellberg and midfielder Barry were believed to be disillusioned with life under old manager David O'Leary.

Barry, 25, said: "Everyone is going to be flying in 100% and committing to the club again," while sources close to Mellberg, 28, say he is happy to stay.

O'Neill may also be boosted by a sizeable transfer fund - if American Randy Lerner's takeover bid succeeds.

Villa rejected a bid from Portsmouth for England international Barry, who has made it clear he is keen to be part of the new regime at Villa Park.

Barry said: "There were players getting a bit frustrated but this is a clean start and an opportunity to start again.

The fans are happy with this appointment and the players are happy too

Villa defender Gareth Barry

"Obviously, Martin was the number one target and he was the best man out there for the job.

"We are all delighted the club got the best man and we are looking forward to working under him.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what ideas he has got, the way he trains players and the way he thinks.

"The fans are happy with this appointment and the players are happy too."

Meanwhile, Villa are bracing themselves for a renewed takeover bid from billionaire Lerner within the next 48 hours.

O'Neill is in close contact with Lerner, who owns NFL franchise Cleveland Browns, and the former Celtic boss spent two successive evenings with the American when he held talks with Villa owner Doug Ellis.

Lerner has nosed ahead as favourite of the four groups looking to take over Villa and is expected to make a formal bid to Ellis by Wednesday.

If that is accepted, Lerner's formal installation in September would provide O'Neill with the financial clout to try to make Villa a force in the Premiership.



SEE ALSO
O'Neill gets first look at Villa
05 Aug 06 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill named Aston Villa manager
04 Aug 06 |  Aston Villa


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