Manchester City want to keep hold of Gareth Barry - in order to send him to New York.

The People says City supremos are keen to extend the midfielder's contract and stop the long-serving star quitting on new boss Manuel Pellegrini as he arrives.

Part of City's masterplan is to offer Barry a deal as the first big name 'swap' to the New York City franchise that the Arab ­owners have bought .

Barry is seen as the perfect type of player for the new MLS team when it starts and also as an ambassador to forge links between the two Citys.