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Steven Gerrard reveals what he said to Rafael Benitez when he wanted to sign Gareth Barry for Liverpool

Barry came very close to joining the Reds before Gerrard stepped in

It’s fair to say that Gareth Barry has had quite a satisfying career. 

The West Brom midfielder – who won the Premier League and FA Cup with Manchester City – is set to go down in the record books when the Baggies face Arsenal on Monday.


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Having equalled Ryan Giggs’ tally of 632 Premier League appearances last weekend, he’s likely to go one further when the side visit the Emirates on Monday.

Barry was once heavily linked with Liverpool

PA:Press Association
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Barry was once heavily linked with Liverpool

The 36-year-old’s long career has seen him turn out for Aston Villa, City and Everton, and he once came very close to joining Liverpool.

Back in 2008, the England international was heavily linked with the Reds to replace the departing Xabi Alonso.

But club legend Steven Gerrard has revealed he discouraged then-manager Rafa Benitez’s interest in the player.

Gerrard advised Rafa against signing the then-Villa midfielder

Bradley Ormesher - The Times
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Gerrard advised Rafa against signing the then-Villa midfielder

Speaking on BT Sport, the former Liverpool captain said he didn’t think Barry was an adequate successor to the Spanish maestro, saying: “He [Rafael Benitez] wanted to move Xabi on and bring in Gareth.

“Now, for me that wasn’t the right move, although I’m a big fan of Gareth Barry.

“I’d had rather had him in to play alongside Xabi, because I think they could’ve worked together.”

Alonso left Anfield for Real Madrid and also played for Bayern Munich before retiring last season

Getty Images - Getty
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Alonso left Anfield for Real Madrid and also played for Bayern Munich before retiring last season

Gerrard also said Benitez – who’s currently gaffer at Newcastle – should have tried harder to keep the World Cup winning midfielder.

“I don’t think it was the right move from a Liverpool point of view to replace Xabi with Gareth,” continued Gerrard.

“The fans loved Xabi, he’s a world-class player, and for me, Rafa should have been doing everything to keep him and not have him move on.”