Gareth Barry is a target for his old club Aston Villa after being told he can leave Manchester City, writes Steve Bates of the Sunday People.

Former England star Barry has a year left on his contract and will be one of the first victims of the revolution under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, who arrives at Eastlands this week.

Villa boss Paul Lambert sees Barry as an ideal role model to help develop his young stars, although Stoke, now managed by Mark Hughes, who bought him for City four years ago, West Ham and Cardiff are also showing interest in the 32-year-old midfielder.

Barry, who made over 400 Villa appearances between 1998 and his £12m move to Manchester, is prepared to see out his £100,000 a week contract, but does not want to spend the season on the fringes of the squad.

This month's arrivals of Fernandinho, from Shakhtar Donetsk, and Sevilla's Jesus Navas has put the squeeze on midfield places at deposed champions City, with Yaya Toure, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell and James Milner all vying for a starting spot.