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Liverpool's Benitez gives Villa first option on duo in Barry talks

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is ready to discuss a swap deal with Aston Villa for their skipper Gareth Barry.

The Sun says Benitez has contacted Villa boss Martin O'Neill and has told him he can have first option on the likes of Peter Crouch and John Arne Riise as part of a possible player-exchange deal.

O'Neill is keen on both but Portsmouth are pushing hard for Crouch and Newcastle want Riise.

Benitez is ready to pay £12million if no exchange can be worked out.

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