Former Aston Villa and Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry admits he “feels sorry” for Jack Grealish, who has returned to training with Villa amid uncertainty over his future.
City want to sign Grealish this summer and Sky Sports News expects his £ 100million offer – submitted on Friday – to be accepted by Villa.
Villa have yet to officially respond to City’s offer but it is understood that they are ready to let Grealish go for the Premier League champions.
Barry, who made 434 appearances for Villa, joined City in the summer 2009 transfer window as part of a deal that caused uproar in the West Midlands.
Speaking at a charity match on Sunday alongside So Solid Crew member Harvey, Barry said Sky Sports News: “It brings back memories and I can see where Jack’s head might be right now.
“It’s a tough decision. Jack loves Aston Villa so it will be really tough. I’m sorry for him.”
The former England international believes, however, that Dean Smith’s side can still be a threat without his talisman.
“Fans will be desperate to keep Jack, but whatever happens Villa will find a new hero down the line,” he added.
Former Aston Villa and West Ham forward Marlon Harewood also took part in the charity match for Dom’s Food Mission – a charity aimed at feeding the less fortunate and making an impact on food waste.
Harewood, who has scored 54 goals during his West Ham career, believes it is important for former players to support charities after they retire.
“Football is so powerful and I’m going to use my platform as much as possible to feed as many people as possible,” he said.
Playing for an ex-West Ham Legends side, the 41-year-old has urged current manager David Moyes to invest in the summer transfer window.
“They will need a new striker as a priority to help (Michail) Antonio or to associate him,” he said. “I have flourished playing with players like Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Zamora, and they will need someone else to put the pressure on the other teams.”
In front of nearly 1,000 spectators at Meadowbank Stadium, home of the Dorking Wanderers, the game ended 2-1, with key organizer Harvey and his team in the lead.
The former AFC Wimbledon player, who also played for Aldershot Town and Lewes, stressed the importance of giving back after the struggles of the pandemic.
“It’s great to see people again in public and to sort out these events,” he said. “It’s very important that we all give back. We just want to see smiles on people’s faces.”
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