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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 30, 2006

Man City reject Barton transfer request

Manchester City have rejected Joey Barton's shock transfer request and wrapped up the £6million signing of Georgios Samaras from Heerenveen.

City opened contract talks with Barton only last week and manager Stuart Pearce has clearly not given up hope of persuading him to stay at Eastlands.

A club statement read: 'The manager has publicly stated his desire to keep the player at Manchester City Football Club.

'A second round of negotiations between the club and the player's representatives took place today and Manchester City wishes to continue those talks.'

It is understood that Barton has been offered a new contract worth double his current deal but turned it down and handed in his transfer request.

Barton's agent Willie McKay claimed on Monday night that he had not been made aware of the developments.

Pearce stood by 23-year-old Barton in July of last year when he was sent home from a pre-season tour of Thailand in disgrace after being involved in an altercation with a 15-year-old Everton fan at City's team hotel in Bangkok.

Barton was given another chance and responded with some impressive displays this season which led some to suggest that he might be handed an England call-up.

Barton has attracted interest from several Premiership clubs - thought to include Arsenal, Birmingham, Charlton and Middlesbrough - and it remains to be seen if a move away from Eastlands unfolds before the January transfer window closes at midnight on Tuesday.

The Thailand incident was not the first controversial moment in Barton's career.

In December 2004 he stabbed 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.

After the Thailand incident Barton stressed that he was determined to 'make things up' to Pearce.

Barton's form suggested he was determined to make the most of City's backing and last month 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.

Meanwhile City clinched a deal for Samaras and the 20-year-old Greek striker will make his City debut in Wednesday's home Premiership clash with Newcastle providing his international clearance comes through in time.

City, who had previously offered only £3million for Samaras, agreed a £6million fee with Heerenveen on Saturday night.

Samaras has since passed a medical and agreed personal terms and is believed to have signed a four-and-a-half year deal.

Samaras will be unveiled during a press conference at City's Carrington training ground on Tuesday morning ahead of the Newcastle clash.