City dismiss Barry rumours
Manchester City have rejected suggestions Gareth Barry’s future at the club is in doubt after reports linked him with a shock move to Napoli.
Speaking in a radio interview earlier on Wednesday, the agent of manager Roberto Mancini, Giorgio De Giorgis, revealed an interest in Napoli’s highly-rated forward Ezequiel Lavezzi.
That in itself would be no surprise given the striker’s growing reputation and his presence at the Copa America with the hosts Argentina.
But what set alarm bells ringing at Eastlands was Giorgis’ observation that in order to facilitate a deal between the two clubs, who remain poles apart in their valuation of Lavezzi, Barry could be involved as a makeweight.
A less likely candidate to join Napoli it is hard to imagine.
There has never been any suggestion of Barry having a wish to play abroad, nor indeed a feeling that Mancini is unhappy with the England midfielder.
In fact, Barry was a regular member of Mancini’s starting line-up last season and was part of the team that defeated Stoke in the FA Cup final at Wembley in May to secure the Blues’ first trophy in 35 years.
And on Wednesday night a City spokesperson has confirmed the 30-year-old will be remaining exactly where he is.
"Mr Giorgis is not mandated by the football club to deal with transfers in or out of Manchester City," the spokesperson said.
"Furthermore, there is no intention to sell Gareth Barry, who remains a valued member of the team."
City have been forced to tread a diplomatic line due to Giorgis’ status.
And tellingly there was no rejection of his claim that an interest in Lavezzi exists.
Indeed, with Carlos Tevez’s position now shrouded in doubt, it would be no surprise if Mancini did pursue an initial interest in a player who netted six times in 31 league appearances on Napoli’s charge to Champions League qualification last term.
"(City) has been negotiating for the past few months with Napoli, regardless of Tevez’s situation," De Giorgis told CRC.
"However, to find a player who is ready, like Pocho (Lavezzi), is not easy."
Rumours also continue to circulate around a possible bid for Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, although City officials have distanced themselves from claims of a £20million transfer being imminent.