Has Barry just joined Man City for the money?
Gareth Barry has finally left Aston Villa, joining Manchester City for a reported £12 million.
Last summer, Barry almost joined Liverpool and was also heavily linked with a move to Emirates Stadium. His reason for seeking a move away from Birmingham was the lure of Champions League football.
Barry is 28 years old and undoubtedly in the form of his life. It is perfectly understandable that he would want to flaunt himself on club football’s biggest stage. Hence the reason O’Neill was resigned to losing his captain after Villa failed to claim the fourth Champions League qualifying spot from Arsenal.
This summer, a move to Liverpool seemed imminent. Arsenal and AC Milan were also linked with the England star. They will all be playing in Europe’s premier competition next year.
Yet it is to Manchester City, that Barry has decided to move. A team not even qualified for the Europa League, unlike his old club Aston Villa.
It seems that Barry has decided to cash in. The billionaire owners of Manchester City have plenty of money to throw around, and Barry looks sets to earn a tidy sum as he wears the sky blue shirt of Manchester City next season. Or are we wrong to presume that?
With Mark Hughes into the second phase of his blue revolution, surely talk of a Premiership title is a little premature. A more likely scenario is they pip one of the’big four’ to the final Champions League spot. Yet Manchester City are by no means guaranteed a top four finish next season. And even if they did finish fourth, Barry would be 30 by the time the 2010-2011 season kicks off.
Maybe he decided that with the World Cup 2010 just around the corner, he couldn’t take a gamble at a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœbig club’ like Liverpool. He would be competing with the likes of Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard for a central midfield spot at Anfield.
So it could be that Barry decided he was better off playing at a club where he was guaranteed first team football. But it does seem strange that an ambitious player like Barry, would shirk at the thought of having to fight for his place. Surely such a tenacious player would relish the challenge.
Subsequently, most football fans will look at the transfer, as a move motivated by money, and ultimately call Barry a mercenary.