Benitez deflects blame for failed Barry talks

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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on Friday rejected suggestions he had played any role in recent failed attempts to prise Gareth Barry away from Aston Villa.

Benitez told a news conference all recent transfer talks regarding the 27-year-old England midfielder were handled by Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry and the club's owners.

"I will try to be very clear...everybody has been talking and it is clear some newspapers and journalists... blame me for everything - global warming, rises in petrol prices, everything," said an exasperated Benitez.

"Since I talked with Martin O'Neill in April, I didn't talk with anyone else at Aston Villa. All the talks have been between Rick Parry and the owner and chief executive of Aston Villa - and they have been pretty good."

"If someone wants to talk about Barry in the future, they will have to talk to the owner or chief executive of Aston Villa, or Rick Parry.

"I was not doing the talks about Barry, I was not doing the talks about (Xabi) Alonso and Arsenal," Benitez said referring to Liverpool's Spain midfielder who has been linked with a move to the Merseyside club's Premier League rivals.

"If you want to talk about players, you have to talk to Rick Parry; if you want to talk about football, talk to me."