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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 15:53 UK

Barker speculation angers Oyston

Jonathan Walters and Shaun Barker
Barker (r) is currently Blackpool's player of the year

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston has reacted angrily to reports linking club captain Shaun Barker with a £400,000 move to Championship side Derby County.

Oyston believes the speculation is an attempt to unsettle the 26-year-old and insisted no formal bid had been lodged.

"The way people work sometimes defies belief," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"We've not had an offer from Derby and I think that would have been an easy thing to clarify before any stories went in the paper."

Derby have expressed an interest in signing Barker but were keen to stress they have not made a bid.

Unless anything changes drastically between now and August then he will be starting here next season

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston

Oyston, though, believes Nigel Clough's side need to sell before they can even consider adding to their squad

"I think they have problems because they've got 41 professionals on the books," he said.

"They're probably keen to try and offload some of those as swap deals rather than transfers to bring in more players."

Barker, whose current deal runs out next summer, has made 149 appearances since arriving from Rotherham in August 2006.

He was part of the promotion-winning side who beat Yeovil in the 2007 League One play-off final at Wembley.

And Oyston is adamant he wants the defender to remain an integral part of their long-term plans.

"We always want to retain our better players and Shaun definitely fits into that category," he said.

"So unless anything changes drastically between now and August then he will be starting here next season.

"We're not touting our players around and never have done.

"We can't foresee whether other clubs will come along and make offers, but football's a funny animal and it's that time of year where clubs and agents are scrabbling round trying to make links."



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