Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton has stunned the club by handing in a transfer request.
Barton has been pivotal to City's success this season
City opened contract talks with the 23-year-old midfielder last week and manager Stuart Pearce insists he is determined to hang on to him.
The club quickly rejected the request, saying they wanted to continue talks.
"The manager has publicly stated his desire to keep the player at Manchester City," said a statement on the club's official website.
"A second round of negotiations between the club and the player's representatives took place on Monday and Manchester City wishes to continue those talks."
Barton's agent Willie McKay claimed on Monday night that he had not been made aware of the developments.
The midfielder only has until the end of 31 January to secure a deal before the transfer window closes.
Barton has come through some troubled times to produce some impressive displays for City this season.
In December 2004, he pushed a lit cigar into the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy during club's Christmas party and was fined six weeks' wages by City.
The player was sent home from a pre-season tour of Thailand in July 2005 after being involved in an altercation with a 15-year-old Everton fan in Bangkok.
Pearce stood by Barton after the Thailand incident, and he has responded with some impressive displays which led some to suggest that he might win an England call-up.
After the Thailand incident Barton stressed that he was determined to "make things up" to Pearce.
It is understood he was offered a new contract worth double his current deal - but he has turned it down.
Barton has attracted interest from several Premiership clubs, including Birmingham, Charlton and Middlesbrough.
In December, he played on despite learning that his brother Michael had been found guilty of the racist killing of Anthony Walker and must serve 18 years in prison.