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Barton transfer request rejected.

Joey Barton's written transfer request earlier today has been swiftly rejected by the club, who released the following statement:

"The manager has publicly stated his desire to keep the player at Manchester City. A second round of negotiations between the club and the player's representatives took place on Monday and Manchester City wishes to continue those talks."

Although it was common knowledge that Barton had turned down the clubs first offer recently, it is still a suprising move by Barton, especially in the wake of speculation that suggested he turned down a move recently to Middlesbrough.

If a second round of negotiations had indeed failed, it appears the club were still intent on talking to Barton and his representatives before the end of the season so the timing of Barton's request is puzzling to say the least with little over twenty-four hours remaining until the transfer window closes until the summer, leaving no time for any move to go through. It was hardly as if last ditch talks had broken down without any hope for the future.

I can understand Barton wanting a much improved contract as his level of play over the past season and a half has merited it, a period which has also seen him straighten out his off field antics which blighted his career so far. The flip side of that though is a loyalty which he certainly owes both Stuart Pearce and the club itself for the way they stood by him through some troubled times.

As far as we know the reason for the request is solely down to money and the club are well within their rights (and right to do so) to reject the request given the fact that he is under contract to the club and were looking to extend his current deal, in line with signing up some top young talent to build for the future so it is unlikely the club will fail to put up a fight.

The difficulty now though is as we all know too well in football these days, you cannot keep an unhappy player at a club no matter how good your intentions are. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on the team as Barton is perhaps the most integral part of the midfield at the moment rather than an unhappy player only on the fringes of the side.

It will go one of two ways now. Either there will be some compromise deal between the player and club on his contract and the request will be withdrawn, or it could become an ugly stalemate where the club will have no option but to sell in the summer, where presumably there will be no shortage of takers for his services. I'm of the opinion that it will be resolved and he will remain at the club, but you have to wonder what damage Barton's hasty and ill-timed request may have done in the long term.