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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 17:36 UK

Magpies to discuss Barton future

Joey Barton
Barton has proved a controversial figure on and off the pitch

Newcastle's Joey Barton will face showdown talks over his future with club bosses on his release from prison.

He was spared a second spell in jail on Monday when he was given a four-month suspended sentence for attacking former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.

The midfielder is currently serving a six-month prison sentence for assault but may be released in the coming days.

Prior to Monday's sentencing, agent Willie McKay said Barton, 25, could be back for pre-season training next week.

"We can't really say too much until Joey is released, but we will be sitting down and talking about his future," said McKay on Tuesday.

"He will be aiming to be back for pre-season training next week. But again, we will see what happens.

"Joey had a great end to the season and has kept himself in great shape.

"In fact, he is in the best shape I have ever seen him in and I think he will be fitter than anybody else."

Following the sentencing, Newcastle confirmed they would have talks with the player "at the earliest opportunity" but said they will not comment further on the situation until that time.

"What Newcastle did deny, however, were newspaper reports that he had been sacked," said Radio 5 Live football reporter Juliette Ferrington.

"One thing Joey Barton does have is the support of his manager Kevin Keegan.

"But it will be interesting to hear what the fans say if Joey Barton is there next season."


Barton has been involved in a catalogue of controversial incidents which have blighted his career on and off the field.

The training ground incident with Dabo happened before Barton's arrival at Newcastle, but the offences which led to his current sentence were committed after his move to Tyneside.

see also
Barton is sentenced for assault
01 Jul 08 |  England
Keegan will support Barton - Lee
21 May 08 |  Newcastle
Footballer in court over assault
12 Mar 08 |  Merseyside
Keegan welcomes change in Barton
01 Feb 08 |  Newcastle
Man City hit back in Barton row
13 Jun 07 |  Football
Barton books in
07 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Man City reject Boro's Barton bid
31 Jan 06 |  Man City
Barton is fined over hotel fracas
27 Jul 05 |  Man City

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