Jamie Carragher: I was delighted when this Aston Villa transfer collapsed
By Harry Sykes
Jamie Carragher has revealed in his weekly Mail column that he was delighted when Liverpool’s bid to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa collapsed.
Carragher explained his emotions in the summer of 2008 when he gave some fascinating insight into how the Merseyside giants were negotiating to sell Xabi Alonso and replace him with Barry.
The prospective deals, which were engineered by former manager Rafael Benitez, brought consternation among many in the Anfield dressing room.
Liverpool icon Carragher explained how Benitez was keen on offloading Spanish midfield kingpin Alonso and replacing him with versatile Villa mainstay Barry.
“Rafa’s intention was to off-load Xabi for £30million and buy Barry for half that price,” wrote Carragher in the Mail. “The appeal of Barry was that he was English and could play in two or three positions. But, believe it or not, only Juventus and Arsenal were keen to take Xabi.
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“When it became clear those interested in Xabi were only prepared to pay £15m — and Aston Villa wanted £30m for Barry — the club pulled the plug. I, along with a lot of others, was delighted but there’s no doubt the intervention caused problems, with Rafa and Xabi, and Rafa and the board.”
Alonso, who had joined from Real Sociedad for £10million in 2004, stayed at Liverpool for a further 12 months and had his best season for the club as they finished second in the Premier League in 2008-09.
But the player then signed for Real Madrid for £30million in the summer of 2009 and was replaced by Alberto Aquilani, who had a wretched time at Liverpool.
Carragher gave his thoughts on Alonso after the 35-year-old announced on Friday that he is retiring at the end of the season.
The Spain all-time great will finish at the end of his third season at Bayern Munich, which has been a successful end to a glittering career.
Alonso, who was in the Bayern team that thrashed Arsenal 5-1 at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night for the second time in weeks, is chasing a Bundesliga-Champions League double in the final campaign of his career.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, a senior figure has joined the Midlands giants after completing a switch from Scotland.