O'Neill wants end to Barry transfer saga

July 26, 2008

Martin O'Neill has suggested he would like Gareth Barry's transfer saga concluded one way or another before it starts to affect Aston Villa's preparations for the forthcoming season.

England midfielder Barry has been a target for Liverpool for several weeks, but the Merseysiders' interest in signing him appears to have cooled recently.

The 27-year-old publicly stated his wish to join the Anfield club earlier this month, a move which, along with criticising his manager, earned him a two-week suspension and a fine.

O'Neill is unhappy with Liverpool's handling of the situation and has hinted he will soon turn his attention to rebuilding his own squad.

Ahead of Villa's Intertoto Cup second-leg clash against Odense tonight, O'Neill said: 'This has been a long saga. We have not heard from Liverpool, I am not even sure that the agent has heard from them now.

'Never at one stage was it mentioned that other players had to be sold, if that is the case.

'We are waiting for Liverpool, which is not actually the greatest situation in our lives, to be waiting for what Liverpool are going to do with our player that we pay.

'But I am not going to get carried away with the situation.'

He added: 'What I will say is that at one stage or another, Aston Villa Football Club, which I think the chairman will agree with me, is that we have got to start looking at what we are trying to do to prepare for the new season.

'We are looking to try and improve our squad, it's as simple as that. And we are trying to do it with the Gareth Barry situation hovering around us.

'He is a highly talented footballer that we are paying and that we need to use at some point and, to be perfectly honest, Gareth concurs with that.'