O'Neill slams claims Villa want to sell Barry

May 15, 2008

Martin O'Neill has reacted with fury to suggestions Aston Villa are prepared to let Gareth Barry join Liverpool.

Villa boss O'Neill reiterated his determination to hold on to his captain, who was recently the subject of a £10million bid from the Merseysiders.

Reports yesterday suggested England midfielder Barry, 27, would be sold if the price was right.

But an angry O'Neill told his club's official website: 'I have not said anything of the sort. To suggest I would be happy to sell Gareth is simply not true.

'I did say that no club would want to keep an unhappy player but at no time has Gareth expressed any displeasure about his time at Villa.'

O'Neill and Villa owner Randy Lerner have been attempting to persuade Barry, who has two years remaining on his contract, to commit his future to the club.

'We are doing everything we can,' O'Neill added.

'We are determined to keep Gareth at Villa Park. To say that I am resigned to losing him is simply not the case.'

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Scott Carson - who spent the season on loan from Liverpool - has revealed he still has no idea whether he will return to Villa Park next season.

The midlanders are believed to be keen to hang on to the England international, 22, though it is unclear whether that would be on a permanent basis.

Carson believes the future is bright for the club, with or without him.

'I don't know what's going to happen, but hopefully the team do well,' he said in the Birmingham Mail.

'You only have to look at the squad, there are a lot of young players there and even the younger ones coming through are very talented.

'Hopefully the manager will keep adding to it and developing it so the team can push on to the next step.'