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Should Arsenal break their transfer record on Gareth Barry?

Having read that headline back to myself, my automatic reaction is 'No'.

I get frustrated as the next Gooner about Arsene Wenger's frugal transfer policies, but I must admit I also love it when his bargain buys turn into world class players.

A £20 million player coming to Arsenal would be a great shot in the arm for us fans, as it would break the club's transfer record and show that we're capable of competing with the other European giants, but if Le Gaffer was to spend that kind of cash, I'd want the incoming player to be an absolute superstar.

Don't get me wrong, Gareth Barry is a terrific player, but a superstar he is not.

Supposedly, Liverpool have had a £15 million bid for Barry knocked back by his current club Aston Villa, who reportedly want £17 million plus Steve Finnan.

But Villa manager Martin O'Neill now claims that Arsenal assistant manager Pat Rice has enquired about the 27-year-old midfielder, which could push his price higher.

Personally I'm hoping that this is a tactic by Le Gaffer to push up Barry's price so that Arsenal can bid for another target - David Villa, perhaps - knowing that Liverpool's budget is stretched.

And there are two major reasons why I can't see Barry in an Arsenal strip next season: firstly, Arsene Wenger very rarely buys players from another Premier League club, simply because the prices are too high; and secondly, I just don't see what Gareth Barry could add to the current Arsenal squad because we have a wealth of talent in midfield.

Anyway, you might completely disagree with me, so if you have an opinion on this transfer rumour, feel free to share it using our comments section below.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on July 15, 2008 9:41 AM in Transfers
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We need Arshavin to wwwwwwwiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnn

Posted by: al | July 15, 2008 11:45 AM

I think this comes down to Martin O'Neill and his bitterness over the way Liverpool's public statements have made it impossible for Barry to play for Villa again. If Wenger was to come in with an equal or even slightly lower bid I can see O'Neill accepting it in preference to giving Liverpool what they want. In fact, I think the only reason the price tag has reached 20 million is because Martin O'Neill is a man of principle, and doesn't want to let Liverpool get their way considering how they've gone about it. Add to this that Villa want Justin Hoyte, and that Barry's got a far better chance of regular football with us, and we've got a definite edge in this deal. I wouldn't be surprised if 20 million became something more like 12 million. However, if it doesn't, then there's no way in hell that that Wenger's going to break his transfer record over Barry.

Posted by: Chris | July 15, 2008 12:02 PM

Yes as you mention we have a lot of wealth of talent in midfield, personally I disagree with this because we untimely lost Flatusso and invicible wall is not with us. We are currently left with Fabby, Denilson and Diaby to be sincere because I really know that Song is being trained to cover up for Toure which is fine. We still need a strong mildfieder(holding one)ie Veloso, Aquilano etc. We require a more creative player since ice loving winger is going to join Titi at Nou Camp. Ademoney wants more to chew which Prof. can't offer at this time so lets' go for a lethal striker like Santa, Arshavin or Barbatove and hopefull RvP will spend most of his time in the field.

Posted by: James | July 15, 2008 12:05 PM

Barry has played well enough to earn a shot playing champions league. But his timing is off, and Villa holding his for the ransom of £20 is what happens whent hey are under contract.

Don't get me wrong, the premium charged for english players is a disgrace, and ultimately negatively impacts their careers (Rooney, Rio aside): Bent £16m hahaha, SWP £23m, Parker £10 + £6 + £7....

Should Arsenal buy Barry? Any price below £14m - yes, otherwise no.

Should Aresnal buy Arshavin? Any price below £12m - yes, otherwise no.

Where will Arshavin play exactly? I love his style, but with Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott, Vela up for attacking midfielder births, someone has to suffer from his arrival. Its not point buying great players if its cannibalising our good work so far.

We need a holding midfielder to cover/succeed Gilberto in the Gilberto/Flamini mold (and should be ready to pay for the privilege of a good one), and we need a centre-back to cover/succeed Gallas/Toure.
We need to keep the big tall goose up front, and thats that for 2008/2009.

Posted by: Lencorp | July 15, 2008 12:25 PM

100% NO! barry is hugely over rated. I'm not saying he isn't a good player. He is a good player, not a great. He is definitely not worth the amount Villa want. i would pay £11-12m at the very most.

Posted by: gooogoo | July 15, 2008 12:33 PM

if were gonna break the transfer record lets do it on sum1 worth while such as arshavin. lets also not forget that our current record signing was reyes and he turned out so well....

Posted by: Steve | July 15, 2008 12:45 PM

did u forget flamini left some months back and that gilberto is also leaving!!!

Posted by: Femi | July 15, 2008 1:10 PM

Barry is exactly what we need! We do not have a wealth of holding midfielders. In fact we have nobody of any quality at that position. Barry is close to a world class holding midfielder who is also an outstanding passer (something Adebayor is not by the way which is why is still nowhere near what Henry was). Gareth can provide for a couple years what Arsenal lack - a great player in his late 20s with the maturity and leadership that Arsenal need. Remember the last time Arsenal won anything they had several players in their mid to late 20s and they need a few of those now to balance and guide the young gunners. BUY BARRY!

Posted by: clichy22 | July 15, 2008 1:32 PM

I red in a greek paper that we are interested in panathinaikos greek starlet sotiris ninis!!!
This guy is class and he is a typical wenger signing as he is young talented and excellend tactically!!
Surely a player with a great future .
You can see him in the under 21 championships as greece is in the same group with england
I hope wenger pushes the button quick for this starlet as lots of big teams like real are also tracking him. Good news is that with gilberto going the other way we will have a first refusal for the player

Posted by: Andreas | July 15, 2008 2:07 PM

Btw our record signing is wiltord and not reyes

Posted by: andreas | July 15, 2008 2:09 PM

i don't think we should pay that much for barry. saying that, he is a useful player.

oh by the way gooners go on to this link:

its a vote for the best premiership centre mids ever. vote for fabregas or vieira.

Posted by: doody | July 15, 2008 4:31 PM

"I just don't see what Gareth Barry could add to the current Arsenal squad because we have a wealth of talent in midfield."

u kidding me mate ? flamini's gone, gilberto's leaving. that leaves us with only 17 year old ramsey to fill in the void.

i reckon barry would fill a good void and at the same time, allow ramsey time to develop into a world class player

Posted by: annonymus | July 15, 2008 8:35 PM

If we are to break the Bank...get a Striker...a real striker in the form of Wrighty... or ..mark Hughes..type..or a real Centre back...cos it doesn't make sense to break the bank for a midfielder where we could have used a fraction of the transfer fee to keep our already proven Run Flat midfielder in Flamini.

Posted by: marc | July 16, 2008 3:42 AM

I have to agree with several of the posters that we don't quite have the 'wealth' that was mentioned. I happen to think that Barry would be a great signing: he's not a superstar, but he is a very good player indeed. A good defensive midfielder with an eye for offense would be perfect to fill the void left by Flamini and Gilberto (if he leaves, as I suspect he shall).

Posted by: Bruno | July 16, 2008 3:58 AM

Its high time arsene wenge bought a mch older guy prefarably frm the premier league...Gareth barry wld b awonderfl additional at the emirates n arshavin too please wenger do somethng,we cnt afford to go another season wthout a silverware again if ths happen i dnt knw..,GARETH BARRY N ARSHAVIN PLEASE

Posted by: Kennedy chacha | July 16, 2008 2:21 PM

YES to Barry, we definitely need a good established holding midfielder before the season start to partner Fabregas, we've been hanging onto the cash for just such a player. No to Arshavin; are you all forgetting the rest of the team up there plus newbie Nasri? Where we fell down last season was Toure in Ghana / getting injured and Senderos not making the grade (also when Toure covered Sagna), so if we do get a second signing I'd prefer a third centre half to back up T and G.

Posted by: Pedro | July 21, 2008 12:59 PM

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