Friday, 5 June 2009

Gareth Barry's sale a win win win situation

It's rare when all three parties (I exclude pesky agents) are equal partners in benefiting from a transfer.

Sometimes the selling club are forced into it, sometimes the player reluctantly moves on, sometimes the buying club pays too much (and to his agent.)

But Gareth Barry's £12million switch from Aston Villa to Manchester City is a win-win-win for all concerned.

He was a year away from leaving on a Bosman, so Villa sold at more than his market value. The threat of renewed interest from Liverpool and Arsenal inflated the price - and City didn't hang around. His was the first transfer of the close-season.

Villa need to freshen things up. Although Barry was among Villa's best players (for a decade), Martin O'Neill needs a different kind of team built around the qualities of Young, Agbonlahor, Milner and Petrov. Sixth place for a second successive season suggests that.

It's also a great signing for City as they continue their evolution. Okay, Abu Dhabi Babby might shed loadsamoney in pursuit of a hurried rise up the table, but Barry will give them a range of passing and midfield fluency they didn't have last season. £12million's a lot - but Barry is a fine player.

And it's great for Gareth. He gets the payday he deserves and a new challenge. He doesn't get the Champions League berth he hoped for because if City ever qualified for it, Barry would be a squad member as quick as you can say "Eto'o, Puyol and Tevez sign!"

But he gets a regular high-profile role in World Cup year. A player of his quality deserves England recognition at the highest level.

As a Villa fan, I thank Gareth Barry for his twelve years at Villa Park and wish him luck at Eastlands.

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