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By ESPN Staff

Aston Villa reject fresh Liverpool bid for Barry

Gareth Barry's Aston Villa nightmare deepened on Wednesday night when the midlands club confirmed they had rejected a new bid from Liverpool.

But Villa insist the offer from Anfield was not the £17million one widely reported earlier in the day.

Liverpool also denied they had made a £17million bid, and insisted it was 'not their final offer''.

But on a day when Villa boss Martin O'Neill fined club skipper Barry two weeks' wages for his Sunday newspaper outburst attacking his manager's handling of the prospective deal, Liverpool were again told they had not matched Villa's valuation.

Liverpool had previously seen three bids rejected of £10million, £11million and then £13million and the new offer was believed to be in the region of £15million. O'Neill, however, is demanding £18million.

Barry had raised the stakes this week by publicly attacking his manager, and as well as being fined he was also told not to attend Villa's first day of pre-season training tomorrow.

Villa's latest statement said: 'The club have received a renewed offer from Liverpool for the player but that still falls well short of Aston Villa's evaluation, and has subsequently been rejected.''

Barry's absence from training tomorrow will only heighten the drama over his move, with his current position at the club clearly untenable.

Barry upset O'Neill by intimating the Villa boss was more interested in being a television pundit for the Euro 2008 finals than speaking to him over his future.

He said: 'It's seven weeks now since the season finished but while the gaffer found time to be a pundit for the BCC at Euro 2008, he hasn't found time to speak to me.

'The last time we spoke was just after England's game in Trinidad at the start of June - and that's it.

'It just made me think that the gaffer and the club were just saying one thing in public but were not bothered about me at all in private. What other conclusion can you reach?''

O'Neill earlier denied he had received another offer from Liverpool.


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