Liverpool had revealed that they had turned down a stunning bid from Aston Villa for John Barnes. The two-player swop deal plus a cash adjustment would have values the England international and Anfield captain in excess of £3 million.
Graeme Souness said “Ron Atkinson telephoned and offered centre back Earl Barrett, midfielder Garry Parker and £1 million for Barnes. I told him that the deal did not appeal to me. I made John our captain earlier in the season and I agree totally with those who have described him as one of the few great talents in the country. He has had trouble with injuries and is still not playing his very best but I want him to stay with us and recapture the form I know he is capable of.”