August 2nd, 2010

Gareth Barry has told James Milner to confront boss Martin O’Neill

JAMES Milner has been told he must confront Martin O’Neill over the ongoing transfer saga with Manchester City for the sake of his own sanity.

 City’s Gareth Barry was in the same situation as England winger Milner two years ago when he made it clear he wanted to leave Aston Villa for Liverpool, only to be frustrated by O’Neill’s refusal to drop his asking price.

 Now history is repeating itself with City making a £24million ‘take it or leave it’ bid but Villa holding out for £30m.

 Barry feels it is now up to the player to confront O’Neill and get the impasse sorted out once and for all.

 He said: “My advice to him would be to try to get the situation sorted as quickly as possible. Mentally, it is tough to deal with and it does mess with your brain.

 “It was probably the longest summer of my life, not knowing what was happening.

 “I am sure the quicker James knows the situation – whether he is going to come to us or stay at Villa – it will be better for him. It will be better if it gets done quickly. My advice is for him to speak to Martin O’Neill to try to get the situation cleared and then he can concentrate on what needs to be done for the season.

 “It is hard to say that Martin O’Neill or Aston Villa are doing anything wrong. They have put a valuation on James and, if it is not being met, they are within their rights to turn offers down. But it is tough for the player. He is in exactly the same spot as I was, but that’s football.”

 Barry ended up staying at Villa for one more season before joining Manchester City. “I learnt from that situation and no doubt James, whether it goes through or he stays another year, will be strong enough to get back to playing his best football.


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