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Page last updated at 20:48 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 21:48 UK

Man City snap up Barry for 12m

Gareth Barry
Barry had been with the Villa Park outfit since 1997

Manchester City have completed the signing of England midfielder Gareth Barry from Aston Villa for £12m.

The 28-year-old was linked with a move to Liverpool last summer but ended up staying at Villa Park, helping them to a sixth-placed finish in the league.

Barry has won 29 caps for England and played over 400 games for Villa, scoring 52 goals.

"There is great potential here, and I'm sure there will be more additions to the squad this summer," said Barry.

City manager Mark Hughes spoke of his satisfaction at signing the midfielder, the first of several expected arrivals at Eastlands this summer.

"Gareth is widely acknowledged as one of the top midfielders in the Premier League," Hughes told his club website.

"The experience required to compete with the best in the Premier League is vital, and with Gareth we get the experience of someone who has played week-in, week-out in the hardest league in the world.

It didn't take much persuasion from Mark Hughes, they are heading in the direction I want to go

Gareth Barry

"I like players that have the sort of flexibility that enables you to change your tactics if you need during a game, and Gareth has that.

"He also has a range of passing that I'm keen to introduce to the team, and he has got great delivery at sets plays as well."

City's owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group, are expected to embark on a spending spree this summer.

Hughes said: "I was looking to get a number of deals done as soon as possible and we have had a great start with Gareth joining us."

However, the fact that Barry has joined Manchester City has still comes as something of a surprise.

Barry, who is in the England squad for World Cup qualifiers on Saturday and next Wednesday, claimed that his main reason for wanting to leave Villa in 2008 was to play Champions League football.

However, a year on, Barry believes he is joining a club with purpose.

"It didn't take much persuasion from Mark Hughes, they are heading in the direction I want to go," he added.

But City finished six places and 22 points behind this season's top four in the top flight, all of whom qualify for Europe's elite club competition.

City will not even contest the Uefa Europa League after Everton, Villa and Fulham took the three places available to English clubs.

606: DEBATE
RGbarggie

Former Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor believes Barry has chosen City because they will challenge the top four next season.

"He has to believe that Manchester City will be signing the quality of player that will give them the best possibility of Champions League football the season after next," Taylor said earlier on Tuesday.

"I'm not suggesting Mark Hughes is going to be absolutely crazy in the salaries the club pay people, but the amount of money has to be a factor."

Taylor believes Barry could be put off joining a Champions League club by the knowledge that might not be guaranteed a place in their starting XI.

"He'll be aware that there's nothing more important than playing first-team football in a World Cup year," added Taylor.

"At Aston Villa it's almost certain that he would be a first-team regular. I think he would be at Manchester City, but I'm not so certain that would be the case at Liverpool."

Villa owner Randy Lerner confirmed last week that the Midlands club were in discussions with Barry regarding a new long-term deal.

Barry joined Villa as a trainee from Brighton and Hove Albion in 1997 and has made 443 appearances since making his debut in 1997.



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see also
Barry offered new Villa contract
26 May 09 |  Aston Villa
O'Neill will consider Barry sale
22 May 09 |  Aston Villa
Barry to remain at Villa - agent
27 Aug 08 |  Aston Villa
Barry transfer saga riles Benitez
16 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
O'Neill takes aim at player power
16 Aug 08 |  Aston Villa


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