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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 18:42 UK

Gerrard wants Barry at Liverpool

Gareth Barry and Steven Gerrard
Gerrard said Barry needed to play Champions League football

Steven Gerrard has said he is "desperate" for Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry to join him at Liverpool.

Barry, who is expected to lead England against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday, will talk about his future after he returns from international duty.

"I want Gareth Barry to become a Liverpool player. I am desperate for us to sign him," said Gerrard.

"He's a good player. I want Liverpool to be as strong as possible and Gareth Barry will certainly make us stronger."

Gerrard's comments are likely to rile Villa manager Martin O'Neill who has already criticised Liverpool's handling of the situation.

Barry is a quality player - Gerrard

O'Neill is determined to keep hold of his captain and earlier this month claimed Liverpool's 10m cash plus player bid undervalued the midfielder.

But Gerrard, a good friend of the 27-year-old, believed Barry, who has two years remaining on his contract, needed to play Champions League football.

"Gareth Barry is someone who will improve Liverpool. We can't be disrespectful to Villa. He is still their player and we will see what happens," said Gerrard.

"Naturally, they are going to try and keep hold of him, and rightly so because he is one of their star men. He has been a fantastic servant for them over many years.

606: DEBATE

"I know all about Gareth, I am good friends with him off the pitch and I am desperate for us to sign him.

"You talk about improving the team, the starting XI and the squad, and Gareth will certainly help Liverpool to become a better team.

"It is easy to play with good players. I've been asked a lot of questions this season about Fernando Torres and the simple answer is 'it's easier playing with quality players' - and Gareth comes into that category."

Barry has only ever played for Villa and is due a testimonial, having signed professional forms with the club in February 1998.

He (Barry) is quite an easy player to play with

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard added: "I am sure Gareth will find it hard to leave Villa. He has been fantastic for them but, in football, sometimes opportunities come along where you can better your career.

"I think Gareth is 27 now and he needs to play Champions League football. In my opinion, he needs that now.

"I've enjoyed playing with him for England. He is quite an easy player to play with. He keeps it simple, he is easy to read and I certainly enjoy playing with him because I've got a good relationship on and off the pitch."


see also
Barry postpones Aston Villa talks
29 May 08 |  Aston Villa
Barry has tough call - Collymore
28 May 08 |  Aston Villa
Villa boss opens talks with Barry
14 May 08 |  Aston Villa
Barry move not certain - O'Neill
12 May 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill furious at Benitez claims
09 May 08 |  Aston Villa
Barry 'undervalued' by Liverpool
09 May 08 |  Aston Villa
Villa players want Barry to stay
21 Apr 08 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill 'desperate' to keep Barry
18 Apr 08 |  Aston Villa


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