Gareth Barry has been urged to quit Aston Villa and join Liverpool by the coach who first discovered him more than 15 years ago.
Les Rogers unearthed Hastings-born Barry at Brighton’s Centre of Excellence in the early 1990s before the midfielder made the switch to Villa.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez remains keen to sign the 27-year-old despite having an initial £10m bid rejected and being involved in a war of words with his Villa counterpart Martin O’Neill.
O’Neill is desperate to hold onto his captain and build a team capable of breaking into the top four, but Rogers believes the chance to join the Reds is too big an opportunity for Barry to turn down.
He said: “Martin O’Neill has been a brilliant manager for Gareth and Villa have really looked after him. He would miss playing at Aston Villa.
“But the opportunity to move to a top four club is too great. I think Gareth should go. How often will this opportunity come around?
“He’s been loyal to Villa and has had previous opportunities to leave but now he will be torn. Gareth has done a tremendous job with Villa but the chance to go to Liverpool is too big an opportunity not to take.
“If Gareth didn’t go, it would end up being a ’what if’ scenario. He might end up having a drop in form and regret his decision to stay.
“He wants to hold onto his England place, which I know he values a lot, and now that he is back in the international team I think it’s the right time for him to move.
“I think he will go and he should go.”
Barry is unlikely to make any decision on his future until after England’s friendly internationals with the United States on Wednesday and Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday.