Friday, April 24, 2009

Barry to decide at the end of the season

Martin O'Neill is content for Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry to wait until the end of the season to decide upon his future.

But the Villa boss is not expecting a repeat of the long drawn-out saga of last summer when Barry looked set to move to Liverpool before the deal collapsed.

Barry has just over one year left of his current deal and there is growing speculation that he will look to leave Villa should they fail to qualify for the Champions League.

O'Neill said: "The speculation regarding Gareth is inevitable. It will happen, it's not a problem. I have discussed it numerous times with the player.

"He is very happy to wait until the end of the season to see how things develop. That's the way we have left it.

"But this is not like last year. This is a situation which I realised would come around and that's the way it is. It's not an issue.

"I'm not bothered (by last summer). From the experience of last year I don't think that will materialise.

"I really have not got an issue with any of this here come the end of the season."

O'Neill has been delighted with the way Barry has responded after failing to land his move to Anfield after the Reds failed to meet Villa's £18million asking price.

He said: "Gareth has played very, very well indeed. He gets a freedom to play that might not be afforded in other places.

"But at the end of it all I'm delighted with him and Stiliyan Petrov in the heart of the midfield, I've been delighted with the other boys as well.

"We can play different systems which we have proved during the course of the season. It's great to have learnt these things because next season they will probably have to come into play."

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