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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Barton earns new deal
Manchester midfielder Joey Barton
Kevin Keegan wants to see how Barton will develop

Young midfielder Joey Barton has signed a new one-year contract with Manchester City.

The 20-year-old Liverpudlian - and travelling companion of Robbie Fowler - made his debut against Bolton a fortnight ago.

Barton looks set to keep his place over the Easter period, but Keegan believes the offer of a short-term deal is in line with new thinking on contracts across the game.

"Joey is on the fringes of the first team and the idea of an extra year's contract is to let us see if he does well," Keegan told the club's official website.

"If he doesn't do well, he doesn't want to be stuck here as a 21-year-old when he could be playing elsewhere.

"Football has gone very short-term in that respect. The idea of giving players five or six year contracts in future, unless they are absolutely exceptional, is a thing of the past."

Barton was man of the match in last Saturday's goalless draw with Middlesbrough.


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