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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Barton agrees new deal
Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton
Man City midfielder Joey Barton is close to signing a new contract with the club.

The 21-year-old has agreed terms on a new two-year deal at the City of Manchester Stadium, although he has yet to sign the contract.

City boss Kevin Keegan told the club's official website: "The contract with Joey is all agreed.

"It is basically a two-year deal though if he plays a certain number of games he will then get offered a new contract.

"We don't have a specific policy of offering two-year deals, in fact with Joey it will work out to be a seven-month contract if he stays in the team as a regular and reaches a certain number of appearances. He then has to re-negotiate.

"Joey has played in the Premiership and is keeping some very good players out at the moment.

"And every day in training he is showing us that not only is he a great prospect but that he wants to get better.

"Arthur Cox was the one who pushed him. My biggest argument with Joey and I say it to him every time before he goes out is, 'don't get silly bookings'.

"Again against Arsenal he was booked so Joey is going to miss games and when he does that he might not walk back into this team, so I am telling him for his own good.

"But he has got everything else. He's got determination and a hunger that is not unusual in young players, but you do not see it as much as you used to.

"The more you see of Joey the more you like."






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