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Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 12:37 UK

Barry has tough call - Collymore

Gareth Barry
Barry will consider his options when he returns from England duty (Getty)

Former Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore says he does not envy the decision facing Gareth Barry if he has to choose between Villa and Liverpool.

Villa have rejected one offer from the Merseysiders for the 27-year-old and Collymore told BBC WM the England midfielder has a big call to make.

"Does he go to Liverpool and guaranteed Champions League football or stick with Martin O'Neill hoping Villa get there?

"It's a decision I wouldn't want to have to make to be honest," he said.

Collymore knows better than most the dilemma facing Barry having played at Anfield and worked under O'Neill during his time at Leicester City.

And Collymore says O'Neill could well persuade Barry to stay at Villa Park.

"Sad as it would be to see him go I don't think anyone would begrudge him leaving but Martin will do his very best and he's a fantastic man-manager," Collymore added.

Current Villa boss Martin O'Neill and Collymore
Collymore played under O'Neill at Leicester City (Getty)
"If there's anyone who can get Gareth to stay in the current circumstances, it's him."

But Collymore admits the lure of playing regularly in the Champions League could tip things Liverpool's way.

"It's an amazing tournament and to fulfil your career you need to be playing in Europe year in, year out," he said.

"You're playing the likes of AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid two or three times a season - that's quite irresistible."

see also
Villa boss opens talks with Barry
14 May 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill furious at Benitez claims
09 May 08 |  Aston Villa
Barry 'undervalued' by Liverpool
09 May 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill to persuade Barry to stay
07 May 08 |  Aston Villa
Villa players want Barry to stay
21 Apr 08 |  Aston Villa
Barry to assess future at Villa
19 Apr 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill 'desperate' to keep Barry
18 Apr 08 |  Aston Villa

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