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Europa League round of 16 draw

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By ESPN Staff

Redknapp denies making move for Barton

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has denied that Joey Barton was a target on transfer-deadline day.

There were suggestions the one-cap England midfielder was on his way out of Newcastle but would be snapped up by another Premier League club - with Pompey linked with the player.

It provoked anger and concern among many Pompey fans worried by the player's disciplinary record both on and off the field but Redknapp has insisted any link with Barton was nothing but pure fantasy.

He told the Portsmouth News: 'I do not know where it came from because it's absolute rubbish. I have not even thought about it. It's just ridiculous, that's all I can say.

'I hadn't even seen the story on Sky. I was at Fulham watching our reserves play. Then all of a sudden people kept asking about Joey Barton. People were ringing me up going on about him, but it was complete news to me - and you'd think I would know.

'Sure I like him (as a player). Regardless of everything else he's a good player, but I wasn't looking to sign him. It hadn't even crossed my mind to be perfectly honest.

'Besides, I had no money to buy anyone else. I thought everyone knew that.''

In fact, Algerian left back Nadir Belhadj from French club Lens was the only Fratton Park arrival on Monday - on a season-long loan.

And Redknapp is excited by the capture.

He said: 'He will give us a great option on the left with his pace when we play with wing-backs like we did at Everton last weekend.

'Armand Traore has done really well since coming in from Arsenal but he is only 18 and we need cover for him in a long season - especially if we have a run in the UEFA Cup.'

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