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Vidal settling in at Bayern Munich

The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Newcastle scotch reports of £5.5m Barton swoop

Newcastle are not interested in signing Joey Barton from Manchester City.

It had been reported today that the north-east club were about to clinch a £5.5million deal to take the City midfielder to St James' Park.

Although there was no public comment from the Magpies on 24-year-old Barton today, they were privately surprised at the link, which suggested he was being recruited as a replacement for Turkish international Emre.

Manager Glenn Roeder and chairman Freddy Shepherd have drawn up a list of targets for the January transfer window with a striker and defenders their priorities.

Roeder is keeping the identities of his wanted men close to his chest, although Liverpool frontman Peter Crouch is one of them and he has admitted his interest in Southampton full-back Gareth Bale and Derby midfielder Giles Barnes.

Emre, the former Inter Milan star, has been repeatedly touted as a possible replacement for Bayern Munich's England international Owen Hargreaves should he finally make the switch to Manchester United.

Barton's form has seen him linked with a series of potential purchasers, but Newcastle are strong in central midfield with Scott Parker, Nicky Butt and Emre battling for two places when everyone else is fit.

Nolberto Solano, Damien Duff, James Milner and Charles N'Zogbia provide options out wide and Kieron Dyer is able to play in a variety of positions.