Manchester City have turned down a verbal offer from Middlesbrough for wantaway midfielder Joey Barton.
Barton handed in a transfer request on Monday after rejecting City's £28,750-a-week contract offer.
City boss Stuart Pearce immediately rejected the bid from Middlesbrough, who had offered £4.5m for Barton two weeks ago.
BBC Sport understands City would be willing to let the 23-year-old midfielder leave the club for £6m.
Boro boss Steve McClaren had insisted on Monday that there was no money to
bring fresh faces to the Riverside before the transfer window shuts at
midnight on Tuesday.
City claim they had offered to make Barton the second-best paid player at the club.
But his agent, Willie McKay said: "It's not just about money but where the club wants to go and where Joey wants to go.
"Joey had a conversation with Stuart Pearce and he said he was disappointed with the offer of his contract.
"Speaking to Joey (on Monday), if Manchester City came up with much more than we asked at first I don't think he will sign it. That's just the way he is now.
"He's got 15 months of his contract left to go and I can assure Manchester City fans he will give 100% during that 15 months as he has done this season.
"He has asked for a transfer. It's nothing sinister, he has not been tapped up."
Barton turned up at City's training ground as usual on Tuesday.
Pearce stood by Barton after the player was sent home from City's pre-season tour of Thailand in July 2005 for an altercation with a 15-year-old Everton fan.
And the manager admitted he was disappointed with Barton's transfer request.
"I wouldn't have done what Joey did after the club stood by him in the summer," said Pearce.
"I am disappointed, but more for the fans and chairman. But we hope to secure him on a long-term contract. I will talk to him and I think something will be sorted out."
The City board are steadfast in their belief their original offer would not be increased.
"No, we won't increase it," said Pearce. "The club has made Joey a fantastic offer but his agent has said it wasn't about money, so I need to talk to him and found out what the situation is about."