LIVERPOOL REFUSE TO PAY £18M FOR BARRY
Liverpool are prepared to enter a game of brinkmanship with Aston Villa by refusing to pay the £18m fee demanded by the Midlands outfit for Gareth Barry.
According to The Sun, 'Kop chief executive Rick Parry insists their fee limit is set at £15m.' While the newspaper claims that Liverpool 'are still hopeful of doing a deal before Villa head for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland on Tuesday' and the 'dispute is likely to be resolved by including a series of add-on clauses', their intransigence raises the prospect of the saga dragging on without conclusion for a few more weeks. Villa are determined to receive a straight cash payment for their captain, with yesterday's Times reporting that 'they are unhappy with the proposed payment structure of the Liverpool offer, which is over a longer time frame than the standard Premier League transfer.'
Confirming that Barry would leave for Anfield just as soon as Liverpool met their £18m valuation, Villa boss Martin O'Neill explained on the club's website: "We put a valuation on him and we have based this valuation on a number of straightforward issues, not least that he is actually a top-quality player." It is believed that the valuation stems in part from the fact that Barry is now vying for an England spot with Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves, both of whom cost Manchester United in the region of £18m.
However, with Barry's bridges burnt at Villa, Liverpool would be entitled to believe that they could lower Villa's valuation towards the £15m mark. Having been barred from training and all club facilities, it is inconceivable that Barry could play for Villa again and yet, despite his availability being public knowledge, Liverpool are apparently the only club bidding for his services.
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