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Page last updated at 09:39 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 10:39 UK

Barry 'undervalued' by Liverpool

Gareth Barry
Gareth Barry has spent 10 years on the Aston Villa playing staff

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill insists Liverpool have undervalued skipper Gareth Barry at 10m.

O'Neill and Barry will hold talks early next week after Liverpool made a players-plus-cash offer for the highly-rated England midfielder.

"Is Barry undervalued at 10m? Absolutely, without question," said O'Neill. "He is playing for England."

O'Neill also expressed his determination to keep the 27-year-old at Villa Park.

"Liverpool talked about a 10m bid, which was some cash and some unnamed players," added O'Neill.

"That is very presumptuous of them, that the players they might be talking about, are the ones you would want - that is why I dismissed the whole thing.

"The whole story seems to have grown arms and legs and seems to be saying 'whatever Liverpool are asking for, they will get' but I don't see that as being the case.

"That is not to say we want to give a certain valuation and then, if Liverpool come up with it, we will do business. That is not what we want to do at all."

Villa defender Curtis Davies remains hopeful Barry will stay on.

Speaking to BBC Your Game in Birmingham, he said: "I've never heard from his own lips that he wants to go and until that happens I won't really worry about it.

"He's a massive player, he's a full international so it would be a massive loss.

"He's a big player on the pitch, he's not really a captain that's going to gee you up but his performances make you take note and you want to follow his example."

Villa are chasing a Uefa Cup spot and they play West Ham on Sunday still hoping to snatch fifth place from Everton.

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And O'Neill will hold talks with Barry after the end of the season to discuss the player's future.

"I've spoken to Gareth and we will have further discussions when the season is over," he said. "With such an important game on Sunday we will speak again next week.

"He felt himself he got affected by all the speculation and that it affected his game a bit. That is something for Sunday's game that we wouldn't want to happen."

O'Neill also revealed Villa owner Randy Lerner was keen for Barry to see out the two years left of his current contract.

"Randy has exactly the same opinion about Gareth as myself." O'Neill added.

"I spoke to him the other day and he wants to make all attempts to keep Gareth at the club.

"He wants to try and improve the team rather than dismantle it. I don't think he is surprised that big teams are after the best players.

"But his view is he wants Villa to become a big team. That is why he took the club over in the first place, to help restore the club to where it was.

"Losing Gareth Barry is not really part of the plan and Randy really wants to keep him.

"There is no surprise in clubs being interested - but us wanting to do business is a different issue."

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez said he and O'Neill would wait until the end of the season before discussing the transfer further.

"He [O'Neill] was telling everyone about our offer, but we are willing to wait and we will try to talk again about the possibilities," said the Spaniard.

"I was talking privately with Martin before the offer and he knows our ideas, clearly."


see also
Villa players want Barry to stay
21 Apr 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill 'desperate' to keep Barry
18 Apr 08 |  Aston Villa
Barry finds his feet
11 Oct 07 |  Internationals


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