England international midfielder Gareth Barry has not ruled out a future return to Aston Villa when speaking to the Express & Star.
The 36-year-old made his professional debut at the West Midlands club in 1998 and stayed at the club until 2009, accumulating nearly 450 appearances. Barry won the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup during his time at Aston Villa as well as winning his first senior England cap.
The veteran midfielder has gone on to make over 300 appearances at Manchester City and Everton but states he would not refuse a return to the club that gave him his breakthrough into Premier League football.
“I do get that asked a lot,” Barry laughed.
“You never say never but Everton is my sole focus at the moment.
“I look out for their results all the time. The majority of my friends are from Birmingham and supporting either Villa or Blues.”
The Everton midfielder was full of praise for Villa boss Steve Bruce and believe he is the man to lead the club to success, “It’s good to see Steve Bruce there.
“He’s started really well, obviously they had a little sticky patch but I’ve got a lot of faith in Bruce – he’s a fantastic manager.
“I think they’re finding their feet again. They had a few tough years with the relegation, it was always going to be hard.
“They just need that bit of time to settle and I believe that Steve Bruce is the right man to do that.”
Despite his age, Barry has accumulated 24 appearances for the Premier League club this season and would offer a great deal of experience for Bruce’s side. Villa are 15th in the Championship and face a tough test against Sheffield Wednesday this weekend.