Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has reiterated to manager Martin O'Neill his desire to keep Gareth Barry who has two years left of his current contract.

O'Neill added: "Randy has exactly the same opinion about Gareth as myself. I spoke to him the other day and he wants to make all attempts to keep Gareth at the club.

"He wants to try and improve the team rather than dismantle it. I don't think he is surprised that big teams are after the best players.

"But his view is he wants Villa to become a big team. That is why he took the club over in the first place, to help restore the club to where it was.

"Losing Gareth Barry is not really part of the plan and Randy really wants to keep him.

"There is no surprise in clubs being interested - but us wanting to do business is a different issue."