Wenger eyes Barry as cheaper alternative to Bender and Fellaini

Arsenal are lining up a surprise move for Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry.

The Gunners have been linked with a number of midfielders in recent week with Marouane Fellaini, Bayern Leverkusen Lars bender and Scott Parker on all their radar.

A move for Fellaini remains a possibility but with Arsenal yet to meet Everton’s £22 asking price a deal is far from being completed. Likewise moves for Bender and Parker do not look like materialising with Leverkusen unwilling to do business for German star Bender while it is unlikely Spurs would contemplate a deal with their rivals for Parker.

All of which means that Barry has now emerged as a cheaper alternative to the trio with reports suggesting that Arsene Wenger is willing to pay £3.5 million for the England International.

Barry is entering the final year of his contract with City and with a reported salary of £100,000 a week the club might be willing to let the midfielder leave this summer.

City and their manager Manuel Pellegrini has been lining up defensive midfielder with Fernandinho already signed up and Blaise Matuidi a reported target.

That could mean that Barry will find opportunities at the Etihad difficult to come across next season prompting rumours of a summer exit.

The 32 year old joined City in 2009 in a £12 million deal from Aston Villa and was part of the side that won the FA Cup in 2011 before getting his hands on a league winner’s medal 12 months later.

Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspurs could rival any Arsenal bid for Barry. Paul Lambert is keen to add experience to his young squad and is reportedly ready to make a move to bring the player back to the Midlands while Spurs are also interested in Barry despite the imminent arrival of Paulinho.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.