Liverpool FC won't give up on Gareth Barry deal

By Tony Barrett on Jul 31, 08 11:30 AM in Journalists

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LIVERPOOL are refusing to give up on signing Gareth Barry despite Aston Villa's insistence that the deal is now off.

A day of complex talks was brought to a halt by Villa at 5pm yesterday, according to the terms of a deadline imposed by the Midlands club.

That was despite the fact Liverpool had met Villa's financial demands for Barry, as laid out in written correspondence between the two clubs.

A cash plus player deal was agreed and those closest to the transfer expected the 27-year-old to finally get his move to Anfield.

But on Tuesday afternoon - as Liverpool arrived in Valencia for last night's friendly against Villarreal - Reds officials learned that Villa had decided to change the payment schedule.

With Villa's arbitrary 5pm deadline fast approaching, Liverpool asked for a further 48 hours to be able to put the necessary finance structure in place with their banks to meet the new demands but this request was refused.

Villa, whose manager Martin O'Neill criticised Liverpool for doing business in public at the start of this long running saga, then put a statement out on their official club website stating the deal was off.

It read: "'This evening, Aston Villa can announce that Gareth Barry will be staying with the club following the interest from Liverpool over recent months.

"During discussions in the past few days, a final deadline to conclude this episode was set that all parties were aware of and agreed to.

"This deadline has now passed and so Gareth will remain with Villa."

Despite this, Liverpool and Barry remain keen to tie up a deal and Villa's determination to play hard ball is unlikely to scupper the England midfielder's move to Anfield.

Liverpool are working hard behind the scenes to put the cash in place needed to finance the transfer, just days after they agreed to pay Tottenham £20m for Robbie Keane.

Speculation had suggested the signing of Keane would signal the end of Rafa Benitez's pursuit of Barry, but the Reds boss is adamant he wants the Villa man in his squad and even this latest setback is unlikely to make him change his mind.

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