Villa boss O'Neill tells Liverpool: £18M for Barry

Liverpool have been told only £18 million will get them Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry.

Martin O'Neill has finally put a valuation on his skipper after the midfielder launched a sustained personal attack on his manager.

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O'Neill valued the player at £18m after speaking to Villa owner Randy Lerner at length yesterday following Barry stepping up his bid to leave Villa Park. Barry hit out at the lack of urgency at his club, demanding a move to Anfield as he laid into O'Neill for taking on a role as a BBC pundit at the European Championship.

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."

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