'I have to leave Aston Villa,' insists Barry

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The Independent Football

Gareth Barry remains eager to join Liverpool and has criticised the Aston Villa manager, Martin O'Neill, for making no effort to persuade him to stay.

The England midfielder has made no secret of his desire for the regular Champions League football on offer at Anfield.

But despite his pleas to the Villa hierarchy to allow him to leave, the club has remained entrenched and rejected a reported £15m bid from Liverpool earlier this month.

Barry was quoted in the News of the World as saying: "My mind's made up, I want to join Liverpool. There's no going back, it's time for me to move on. I'm desperate to play Champions League football and that's why I have to leave Villa."

O'Neill has been openly critical of the Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez, over his pursuit of the Villa captain.

But despite O'Neill's public position, Barry claims that nothing has been done to get him to remain at Villa Park.

"It's seven weeks now since the season finished but while the gaffer's found time to be a pundit for the BBC at Euro 2008, he hasn't found the time to speak to me.

"Have Villa offered me anything to try to persuade me my future is at Villa Park, not Anfield? Not a thing."

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