Martin O'Neill has finally put a valuation on his skipper after the midfielder launched a sustained personal attack on his manager.
O'Neill said: "The chairman and myself are surprised at what Gareth has said. Contrary to what he alleges, we desperately want to keep him at Villa Park - and he knows that.
"We asked both Gareth and his agent to consider what had been discussed in our meeting, including a variety of options to incentivise the player. Gareth returned from England's matches at the beginning of June only to reiterate his intention to join Liverpool.
"He told me that directly. But Liverpool's valuation of Gareth has come short of our own. We have made our position clear. If Liverpool meet our valuation, Gareth will have his express wish to leave Villa Park granted."