O’Neil reopens door for Barry exit

Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neil has reluctantly admitted defeat in his efforts in trying to keep captain Gareth Barry at the club, and says the ball is in Liverpool’s court.

Villa had closed the doors on the Barry deal earlier this week when Liverpool failed to meet a deadline on coming to terms over payment issues.

But having spoken with Villa chairman Randy Lerner, Barry and Barry’s agent, O’Neil now seems to have invited the Reds to complete their move for the England international midfielder.

O’Neil said on Saturday night, ‘œOnce the deadline had passed, we were very upbeat,’ the Villa manager said last night. ‘But [Barry and his agent] still felt that Liverpool were going to come in and do the deal.

‘œI’ve listened to what they’ve said and I’ll go with it – reluctantly, but I’ll go with it. Liverpool now have up to the normal window, which is the 31st of this month. The ball is in their court.’

The transfer window closes on August 31st, though Liverpool will hope to close the deal and bring Barry to Anfield as quickly as possible with just over a week until their Champions League Qualifier against Standard Liege.