Villa's Berger frozen out after Barry comments
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has told Patrik Berger he has played his last game for the club after recent remarks he made about Gareth Barry.
The Czech told fellow midfielder Barry to move to Liverpool if he gets the chance in the summer.
Berger said it was 'the opportunity of a lifetime. Liverpool don't come after you every year' and that 'if I was in Gareth's position I would go there tomorrow'.
The comments irked Villa boss O'Neill and he has subsequently spoken to Berger, who was expected to leave in the summer having made only eight Premier League starts in three seasons, and indicated he will not play any further part in his plans.
'I was really disappointed and surprised that Patrik, with all his experience of dealing with the press, would make such an inappropriate comment,' O'Neill said.
'The sad aspect of it is that we are paying Patrik's wages for him to recommend one of our players to another football club. It's ludicrous.
'I think Pat realises that now and he's apologised. He said he didn't mean a great deal of harm but the harm has been done and he won't be playing any part in proceedings from here on in.'
O'Neill confirmed last week that an offer had been received from Liverpool for Barry but admitted he was keen to keep hold of the player.
O'Neill said: 'Gareth Barry still has two years of his contract left to run and from my two years' experience of working with him, he's not one who would be wanting to break contracts lightly.
'I don't want to be in a position of letting really good players go. Gareth Barry is a really good player who still has two years left on his contract.
'I haven't discussed these things with him yet. At some stage obviously I will do. But the day before probably our most important game of the season is not the time to be discussing it.'