By Martin Morris
Abu Dhabi-owned Man City complete £12m move for Aston Villa's England midfielder, Gareth Barry.
Premiership football club, Manchester City, completed on Tuesday a £12 million move for Aston Villa’s England midfielder, Gareth Barry, in what is likely to be a busy summer transfer market for the Abu Dhabi-owned club.
The England international had been offered a new deal to remain at Villa Park beyond the end of next season - when his current contract expires.
Barry’s move to Eastlands comes as a major surprise, given City have failed to qualify for the Europa League next season while Villa have.
However, with City's owners expected to embark on a major spending spree this summer, Barry, who has long coveted playing in the Champions League, may have seen City as a better long term bet than Villa.
And with relatively little interest having been shown by the Premiership’s ‘Big 4’ (Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal) this time round - with the possible exception of Arsenal - Barry’s options had dwindled in terms of playing Champions League football next season in any event.
Former Aston Villa and England manager Graham Taylor believes Barry has chosen City because they will challenge the top four next season.
"He has to believe that Manchester City will be signing the quality of player that will give them the best possibility of Champions League football the season after next," said Taylor.
Barry has won 29 caps for England and is in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers on Saturday and next Wednesday.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.