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Transfer Truth: The Truth on Barry to Arsenal

Posted on Jul 4th, 2013 by Jim Walker

Not a day goes by without Arsenal being liked to yet another central Midfielder, and today's potential traget is Manchester City man Gareth Barry, but is there any real truth to this one?

Barry: Transfer Truth: 25%
With Arsenal's pursuit Fellaini having apparently hit a snag over wage demands, and the chase of Lars Bender on the ropes due the the transfer fee required, the press have turned their attention to Gareth Barry on Wenger's behalf.

We have scoured the internet so you don't have to, and come up with absolutely nothing to suggest that Wenger is interested in the England international who made 31 league appearances at Manchester City last season.

The main basis of this story is weaved together from a very old set of speculations that suggested Wenger was interested in Barry when he originally left Villa to join City and must therefore be keen on him again. What most seem to be ignoring is that at that time barry was in his prime and in high demand. He is now 32 years old and whilst he is still a very good player, he would represent a break from Wenger's usual acquisition policy.

The other bit of logic that has been applied to this story is that the single year remaining on Barry's contract would make him available on the cheap, which would suit Wenger's usual acquisition policy.

Happy Barry
The stories doing the rounds make little to no mention of the fact that Barry was a pretty central part of the City squad last season and that he may well still be a part of the new City gaffer's plans, at least until he has found suitable cover. Most importantly though a quote made by Barry a couple of weeks ago has been completely thrown out too:

I am happy here and very settled. I spent 12 years at Villa and I've spent four years at City and I'm not really one for moving around. I'd like to stay as long as possible.

This comment would put to an end any idea that Barry was lacking game time last season and that this means he actually wants to move. The end of his quote did spell out a little warning for his new boss:

For a player to feel settled and feel very comfortable, you generally want to be playing regular football. I've been lucky enough to feature in a lot of games this season. That's one reason why I am happy to stay.

This does submissively imply that he would probably consider moving if he's completely out of the new manager's plans. So there is perhaps a little hint there that he would not be happy sitting in the reserves all season.

We could find nothing to suggest that Arsenal want him, nor anything that sugests City don't. Although if you were really clutching at straws we would let you off with a suggestion that the £30m signing of Fernandinho in central midfield might suggest Pellegrini is looking to offload one of his current crop.

The City manager will now be blessed with Javi Garcia, Yaya Toure, James Milner, Jack Rodwell, Fernandinho, and Barry, effectively 6 players to occupy what will be 3 central midfield spots at most and that's before you throw David Silva in to the mix so it's only a question of whether or not Pellegrini believes that is one too many for healthy competition. For now we think he will likely want to hold on to Barry, but if another player is purchased in that position things might change very quickly.

Our Truth-o-meter
There is nothing in the way of evidence which suggests Barry is wanted by Arsenal, or not wanted by City, but there is plenty from Barry himself which expresses his desire to stay. Everything else out there is conjecture and logic built on multiple presumptuous hypotheses. We can accept that the arrival of Fernandinho might men City are willing to let one of their central midfield men go and with only a year left on his contract, Barry might be that man but there is absolutely nothing to say that Arsenal will be that team, so we're giving this one a truth rating of 25%, but only a 10% chance that he will end up at Arsenal.

Likeliness of Signing: 10%
Fit at Club: 70%

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