Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has pleaded with team-mate and vice-captain Gareth Barry to stay at Villa Park beyond this season. Barry was subject of last summer's longest transfer saga, with the player desperate to play Champions League football and Liverpool keen to take the England midfielder to Anfield, but unwilling to match the Villans's valuation. The current Villa captain, currently deputising for injured skipper Martin Laursen having lost the captaincy himself after revealing his desire to leave, has 18-months remaining on his current deal. While O'Neill has recently stated he would not stand in the player's way should he wish to leave again in the summer. However, team-mate Agbonlahor, who has earned two international caps with England as a result of Villa's scintillating form this season, hopes Barry stays at the club having played a key role in the club's rise to third in the Premier League. "I think Gareth ought to sign a new contract," he said. "It would show our expectations for the rest of the season and next season. "I don't really like commenting on him but it would mean a lot, especially for the young lads because he's been here so long. I'd like him to stay at the club but obviously it's his choice what he does. If he stays and Stiliyan Petrov signs his new contract, it will be good for the club. "Gareth is really good with the whole team and that's why it's been good that he's been captain because he sets a good example. I used to watch him a lot when I was coming through the ranks here. He's been at Villa a long time and he hasn't missed many games either. "He does seem like an old man to me. But he doesn't look it, he looks young, and he doesn't play like it." VILLA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Boy's A Bit Special Gabriel Agbonlahor, Isiah Osbourne Ask A Silly Question Peter Crouch Perfect XI Graham Taylor Plus! Rate Villa players (and others) on Talentspotter
18 February 2009
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