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South Korea's remarkable renaissance

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Barton laughs off Hammers interest

Newcastle United star Joey Barton has quashed rumours of a reunion with former Toon boss Sam Allardyce, who is currently in charge of West Ham.

The England midfielder is entering the final 12 months of his contract at St James' Park after talks over a new deal collapsed, leading to speculation he could leave the club this summer.

Barton has already seen Kevin Nolan, the Magpies' skipper last season, join the Hammers - but he will not follow suit, as he feels he is worthy of a Premier League side.

"Contract negotiations not re-opened. Back to NUFC on Tuesday, Happy days," Barton wrote on Twitter.

"Why would I drop down a league when I can more than hold my own in the Premiership? What benefit would it give me? None. I play this game to play against the best week in, week out."

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