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Barton speculation.

I've not seen this in any other newspaper or from any of my usual sources, but tucked away on page 69 of The Sunday Mirror yesterday was the following item (sorry, no link):

"Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton has rejected a £4.5 million move to Premiership strugglers Middlesbrough. Barton 23 was given permission to speak to the Teesside club following prolonged negotiations between the two clubs more than a week ago.
But the reformed midfielder, who turned to Tony Adams's Sprting Chance Clinic to clean up his act after he faced the sack over a series of unsavoury bust-ups, is likely to to be rewarded with a new contract for remaining loyal to City."

There has been no word from either City, Barton or Middlesbrough regarding any truth in this but if it is true to is certainly alarming. I don't think for one moment that Barton would be keen for a move to Boro, but what are the club thinking of to potentially allow arguably our most improved player of the season (and certainly most influential) to leave months after sanctioning the sale of SWP?

Coupled with the lack of transfer activity into the club and reports that the Giorgis Samaras bid could be hijacked by Everton, it lends some weight to the suspicion that there is nowhere the rumoured £10 million transfer kitty Pearce is alledged to have - if there is any available at all.