Barry set for Liverpool after O'Neill puts end to resistance

Liverpool will secure Gareth Barry's signature this week, following the concession of defeat by the Aston Villa manager, Martin O'Neill, in his summer-long battle to persuade the midfielder to stay.

Liverpool's manager, Rafael Benitez, is keen to wrap up an £18m cash deal – the valuation Villa have always placed on the player – as quickly as possible. He may have the England international at his disposal within 72 hours, provided there are no hitches with the cash advance which Liverpool's owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, are understood to have agreed to make.

Benitez had been told that he had to sell to buy and the chances of securing Barry's services seemed to have receded with the £19m purchase of the striker Robbie Keane from Tottenham Hotspur last week. But Hicks and Gillett are understood to have provided the £18m needed to buy Barry ahead of possible further sales, and may be willing to write off any shortfall remaining after the transfer window closes.

Liverpool's major hope of helping to recoup the full sum receded further yesterday, however, when the Juventus manager, Claudio Ranieri, said after a 3-0 defeat to Hamburg in London that he was no longer considering a move for Xabi Alonso. The Italian club had never tabled a firm offer for the Spain midfielder.

Benitez can still hope that Jermaine Pennant will bring in £4m, should Blackburn Rovers develop their known interest in the winger. Andrei Voronin could bring in £6m and Steve Finnan £2m. Alvaro Arbeloa's departure has also been anticipated, though Benitez last week dismissed suggestions that the Spaniard might be unhappy at the club.

Liverpool remained hopeful of signing Barry after the drama of last Wednesday, when Villa made an unexpected declaration that the England player was to stay, minutes after the conclusion of a deadline they had imposed. Liverpool made no progress on the matter on Friday but Barry had actually persuaded O'Neill to give up on his services on Thursday morning. O'Neill, who has never been short of public proclamations on the issue, revealed as much after Villa's 1-1 draw at Reading in a friendly on Saturday.

O'Neill said that Barry and his agent, Alex Black, had felt that Liverpool could still do the deal. The Villa manager had hoped a £60,000-a-week offer might tempt the midfielder to stay.

"I was obviously very disappointed that that was still part of the scenario going forward," O'Neill said. "I gave it some thought and realised that at the end of it all there was little point in pretending. Gareth would want to join Liverpool and therefore there would be no deadline.

"I have agreed with Gareth now that Liverpool have got all the time in the world if they want to raise the money. That's the case. That's it. The ball is firmly in Liverpool's court, that's fine, not a problem."

For a manager who has railed against Liverpool and Benitez all summer, such a change of course and tone is surprising. But O'Neill can show that his club have earned every penny they were demanding for Barry, with a considerable amount payable immediately. It is understood Liverpool have accepted Villa's demand that the £18m be delivered in two instalments.

At Liverpool, Hicks' role in the move provides the biggest boost to his reputation since he arrived at the club in February 2007. Though the biggest concern at Anfield has always been the two American owners' capacity to get a new stadium built, two top-bracket signings and Saturday's 4-0 friendly win at Rangers provide a sense at last that the club is moving forward.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence