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Page last updated at 22:41 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 23:41 UK

Benitez drops strong Barry hint

Gareth Barry
Barry has made it clear to Villa that he wants to leave for Anfield

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has indicated that Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry remains a serious target.

Benitez refused to name the England midfielder but would not say that the long-running transfer saga was over.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill conceded last week that his captain might leave but reports have suggested that a proposed fee of 18m was the sticking point.

"The situation is not a question of money," said Benitez after Liverpool beat Lazio 1-0 in a friendly on Friday.

"He is English and can play three different positions, but I am talking about someone who can play on the left."

I am talking about one player, but I won't say the name

Rafael Benitez
Barry, 27, can play central midfield, on the left and left-back.

Xabi Alonso had long been expected to make way for the Englishman but he now looks set to stay at Anfield.

"We have a good player (Alonso) and we have another good player coming in soon.

"We can improve the squad, so we will try to do that. We will bring in one more player if we can.

"I do not know when but clearly we have problems on the left, Kewell has gone, Aurelio is injured and Leto cannot get a work permit.

"Babel is away in the Olympic Games. Maybe he can come back and fill that role, but I know we can improve in this area.

"Who comes in? It could be another left-sided player rather than a central midfielder.

"Maybe he can play in three different positions, that is a positive thing. I am talking about one player, but I won't say the name."

see also
Villa-bound Guzan granted permit
01 Aug 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill wants decision over Barry
24 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa
Villa fans jeer unsettled Barry
23 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa
Barry returns to Villa training
16 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa
Gerrard wants Barry at Liverpool
30 May 08 |  Liverpool
Barry 'undervalued' by Liverpool
09 May 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill furious at Benitez claims
09 May 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill 'desperate' to keep Barry
18 Apr 08 |  Aston Villa

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