Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has revealed he is desperate for his boss Rafa Benitez to sign his good friend Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.
Gerrard believes Barry is the key to Liverpool becoming an even better team next season.
The pair are currently out in Trinidad ahead of England's friendly on Sunday night and, while Gerrard admits he does not want to disrespect Villa by getting involved, his views on how much he wants Barry to join him in midfield at Anfield are clear - not least after the pair linked perfectly on Wednesday night at Wembley with Barry setting up Gerrard's goal with a sublime pass - just 30 seconds after coming on as a sub.
In a press conference which will grate with Villa manager Martin O'Neill, Gerrard said: "I hope we (Liverpool) can strengthen and stay up there in the top four and challenge for the title because we are still a little bit off. I spoke to the manager at the end of the season and I know he has got targets he is trying to bring in and hopefully come the start of the season we will get the players we want and we don't miss out on them and go for players that are second on the list."
Adding that Barry was definitely one player on the hit list, Gerrard said: "I know all about Gareth. I am good friends with him off the pitch and I am desperate for us to sign him. He is a good player.
"You talk about strengthening the team, the starting eleven and the squad, and Gareth will certainly help Liverpool to be a better team.
"It is easy to play with good players. I've been asked a lot of questions this season about Torres and the simple answer is 'it's easier playing with quality players' and Gareth comes into that category.
"I am sure he will find it hard to leave. He has been a fantastic servant to Aston Villa but in football sometimes opportunities come along where you can better your career.
"I think Gareth is 27 now and he needs to play Champions League football. In my opinion, he needs that now.
"I've enjoyed playing with him. He is quite an easy player to play with. He keeps it simple, he is easy to read and I certainly enjoy playing with him because I've got a good relationship on and off the pitch."
Gerrard continued: "As I have said I see him as someone who will improve us. We can't be disrespectful to Villa. He is still their player. They are going to try and keep hold of him and rightly so because he is one of their star men and been a fantastic servant for them."
The Liverpool star said he felt England was going the right way under Capello though he urged fans to be patient and warned it would take time for the new-look England to start makign an impact in major competitions again.
He said: "It is going to take time. A team doesn't go from under-achieving and missing out on a big tournament and be World Cup winners overnight.
"We need to get used to the manager's ideas but the right steps are going to happen.
"I felt against the USA there were signs of as bit of improvement as that is what we need to do, step by step, build ourselves up to being a better team."
Several of the Champions League players have stayed at home for this game and Gerrard believes that wil give the younger players in the squad including Villa's Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor a chance to break through.
He said: "It is always a great opportunity. The manager decided to leave some big name players at home and as it is a friendly, we are allowed to make six substitutions so hopefully a few young lads and uncapped players will get a go."
Barry was last night still hot favourite to be rewarded with the captain's armband for Sunday's international as manager Fabio Capello rotates the honour until deciding on a long term skipper and Gerrard said he felt that was only right.
He said: "The manager wants to look at different candidates and he is looking at not just the club captains but all the players. All the staff are scrutinising us and looking at our strengths and weaknesses.
"The captaincy is a big thing because he hasn't named it but to me our focus is on the games and trying to impress the manager and if the captaincy comes along, then great.
"Every single player has got things to prove personally and also as a team. We have under-achieved and I am sure this manager will be ruthless if we don't meet the standards he wants. If you don't play the way he wants you to play, or buy into his system, then I think it's goodbye.
"I think we showed signs on Wednesday that we can play at a high tempo which is important. For us to go forward, we need to play quicker.
"I am sure bigger tests are to come but it is important to put the foundations down before you become a better team. Everyone wants to be part of Capello's plans so that is healthy."