Manchester City target more transfer deals

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The Independent Football

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes is keen to complete some more early summer transfer business following the £12m arrival of Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.

The 28-year-old England international has signed a five-year contract at Eastlands having completed a successful medical.

Barry, who was a target for Liverpool last summer, leaves Villa after 12 years and more than 400 matches.

Hughes said: "I was looking to get a number of deals done as soon as possible and we have had a great start with Gareth joining us.

"I hope we can conclude some more so that when we come back for pre-season training we have everybody fit and well and set for a successful campaign."

Barry said he joined City because their ambition matched his own.

Currently with the England squad preparing for a World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan on Saturday, he told "I'm delighted to be joining City.

"It didn't take much persuasion from Mark Hughes, they are heading in the direction I want to go.

"There is great potential here, and I'm sure there will be a few more additions to the squad this summer."

Club captain Richard Dunne welcomed Barry on board.

"I heard he was in talks with the club, he is a really good player and a player the Aston Villa fans will really miss, " said the Republic of Ireland defender.

"It shows the pulling power of the club. It's the sort of signing the manager is looking for - players with Premier League experience who can push the squad on."

Barry had publicly stated he wanted to play in the Champions League and manager Martin O'Neill knew it would be difficult to hang on to the player should one of the top four come calling.

However, Barry's decision to join the revolution - bankrolled by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan - being undertaken by Hughes at Eastlands will have come as a shock to O'Neill and Villa fans alike.

City have not even qualified for next season's revamped Europa League and some supporters are certain to believe Barry has moved because of the £80,000-a-week salary at Eastlands.

But it is understood Barry has received assurances regarding the quality of player Hughes is looking to bring in this summer to help establish City as major force.

And he is likely to be assured of regular first-team football - a crucial factor in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, assuming England qualify.

Hughes said: "Gareth is widely acknowledged as one of the top midfielders in the Premier League and that is a recommendation in itself.

"With Gareth we get the experience of someone who has played week-in, week-out in the hardest league in the world.

"He plays at a level that has an impact on the game and we are thrilled he is joining us."