O'Neill - Barry is worth more

Villa feel skipper is undervalued

Martin O'Neill insists that Liverpool's £10million bid for Gareth Barry is well short of their valuation.

The Aston Villa skipper has been a Reds target for some time, with Rafael Benitez finally making a move for the midfielder last week.

A player-plus-cash offer is believed to have been put on the table, but as yet Villa are refusing to take the move seriously.

O'Neill is still determined to retain the services of his captain, and has made it clear that it would take big money to prise the England international away from Villa Park.


"Liverpool talked about a £10million bid, which was some cash and some unnamed players," he said.

"That is very presumptuous of them, that the players they might be talking about, are the ones you would want - that is why I dismissed the whole thing.

"The whole story seems to have grown arms and legs and seems to be saying 'whatever Liverpool are asking for, they will get' but I don't see that as being the case.

"Is Barry undervalued at £10million? Absolutely, without question. This lad is playing for England.

"That is not to say we want to give a certain valuation and then, if Liverpool come up with it, we will do business. That is not what we want to do at all."


However, Barry is keen to experience UEFA Champions League football and, following on from Kevin Keegan's views on the top four earlier in the week, O'Neill admits that it would be "a big ask" for a club like Villa to break the domination at the top of the table.

"If Keegan thinks it is going to be difficult at Newcastle, the third highest club in terms of crowds, then I suppose it might be a realistic viewpoint," he added.

"My own view is I don't think it is an impossibility. That is my viewpoint but it does take a lot of good players at the club to wrestle the initiative away from those big four.

"Maybe Kevin Keegan in the last day or so has given a realistic viewpoint of the league at the moment - but it is not something you stop aspiring to.

"The whole idea in the not too distant future is that Villa are up alongside Liverpool.

"We are going to do what it takes to keep Gareth at the club. The viewpoint is we are attempting to get up there with those teams in the top four."