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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 21:50 GMT
Man City reject Boro's Barton bid
Joey Barton
I was made a second offer that did not improve and was told 'take it or leave it.'
Joey Barton
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.

The 23-year-old has hit out at the offer the club made and insisted "it's in their hands."

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.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Barton said: "I was made a second offer that did not improve and was told 'take it or leave it.'

"I told them I would leave it and would like to be placed on the transfer list.

"I would like nothing more to have been successful at City but I don't have that option at the moment.

"Until the situation changes, I will remain on the list and it's in their hands."

I will talk to him and I think something will be sorted out
Stuart Pearce

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."

Barton added: "I am and always will be grateful to the club and the fans of Manchester City for their support in troubled times.

"However, that does not mean I will commit to the football club to an offer I deem unacceptable."

Interview: Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce

Interview: Joey Barton's agent Willie McKay

Barton is fined over hotel fracas
27 Jul 05 |  Man City
Man City fine Barton for incident
23 Dec 04 |  Man City


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