England midfielder Gareth Barry today clinched a £12m move from Villa Park to the Etihad Stadium as he joined Mark Hughes’ Manchester City side.
The 28-year-old Barry, who has become a talismanic captain during 12 years and almost 400 games at Villa Park, was a target for several Premier League clubs following a high-profile chase by Liverpool last summer.
The former England Under-21 skipper’s ability, versatility and character made Hastings-born Barry a natural priority target as ambitious manager Hughes tackles the second phase of his Blues revolution.
With Player of the Year Stevie Ireland having committed himself to a further five years at City, Barry’s arrival at the club after signing a five-year contract means Hughes will have one of the Premier League’s most formidable midfield rosters.
The City boss had warned his rivals that he likes to move quickly once he identified his wanted men, and Barry’s move has been completed while most of football is still enjoying a post-season break.
Barry, who has 29 full England caps, is currently with Fabio Capello’s national squad at their Hertfordshire hotel preparing for Saturday’s 2010 World Cup qualifying match in Kazakhstan.
He also captained England Under-18s and joined Villa from Brighton as a trainee in 1997. As his career flourished, his versatility emerged and he shone at centre-back and left back as well as across the midfield.