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Jan 25, 2012

Barry: Kop abuse put me off Reds move

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has revealed that abuse from Liverpool fans scuppered his proposed move to Anfield in the summer of 2008.

• ESPN Fan Films: The Spirit of Shankly

The two sides clash in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday night with City aiming to extend Liverpool's six-year trophy drought and Barry thanking the kop for doing him favour.

The former Aston Villa midfielder was on the verge of a move to Rafa Benitez's Liverpool as a replacement for fans favourite Xabi Alonso but heard derogatory chants from the fans as he sat at home watching his potential new employers on TV.

His £15 million move eventually fell through, but having left Villa for City the following season, Barry insists that he now counts his blessings that he chose Eastlands over Anfield.

"I remember when the transfer saga was going on, I was watching a Liverpool friendly [against Lazio at Anfield] and the home fans were singing, 'You can stick your Gareth Barry up your arse'. I was at home, but I could just hear it vaguely. That might have got into my head a little bit.

"Liverpool were still interested when I decided to join City [in 2009]. I thought about it really hard, but the things the club were talking about, I felt City were on the up, whereas Liverpool were maybe finding it a bit tougher than City."

Barry insists there are no regrets and said: "Obviously Liverpool is a fantastic club with a great following but I won the FA Cup last year, I've played in the Champions League.

"It wasn't an easy decision. I was signing for City on promises being made really and, in football, promises get made all the time. They can backfire and people can end up saying they made the wrong decision.

"Sitting here now I think it has been a very good decision. I took a bit of stick for a few weeks as you know. But I took the long-term view and believed that at the end of the contract I could say I made the right decision.

"From the things the clubs were talking about, I felt City were on the up whereas Liverpool were maybe finding it a bit tougher than City."

The Premier League remains City's top priority but Barry would love a return to Wembley, where he won the FA Cup last season, but knows it will be difficult to overturn the 1-0 deficit form the Carling Cup Semi-final first leg.

"It's obviously going to be a really tough task because at home Liverpool are a great team with their support behind them. But this time with us being a goal behind and playing away from home, we can go there and play good football and maybe the pressure will be on them a little bit more."

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