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Youngster Barton set for exit at Coventry

LEAGUE One side Coventry City have told Ireland U-21 cap Adam Barton that he is free to leave, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

Barton, 22, arrived at Coventry in 2012 as a player with great potential, having already been capped at senior level by Northern Ireland. It was a coup for the FAI when they persuaded him to declare for the Republic, earning the first of his five U21 caps in 2011.

But he has failed to progress at City and manager Steven Pressley says the player can move on.

"Adam's a player who I have had conversations with and if the right club came in for him then we wouldn't stand in his way," revealed Pressley.

"That's the conversation we've had because he wants to play and he's at the age where he needs to play first-team football, and I understand that – not that he's unhappy – but I don't want to deny him that opportunity.

"He's told me he wants to play and I appreciate that because when I was his age – in fact I was slightly younger at 21 – I felt the same and I left Rangers to try to find regular first-team football, so I can relate to that and I don't want to hold him back if that's what he wants to do."

 

LAWRENCE BIDS FOR TYKES DEAL

FORMER Ireland man Liam Lawrence is training with Championship side Barnsley with a view to a move back to the English game.

The 32-year-old has been based in Greece since 2012, lining out for PAOK Salonika. His club have qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League, drawn to face Benfica next month, and are also in second place in the Greek league.

But former Sunderland and Stoke man Lawrence has had a frustrating time this season due to injury and loss of form, while he is also eager to move back to England for personal reasons as his family remained in Britain while he was in Greece.

He is contracted to PAOK until the summer but the club appear willing to do a deal and release him if he is able to secure a move. Lawrence trained with Barnsley yesterday and will try to convince Tykes manager Danny Wilson to hand him a deal.

Barnsley are bottom of the Championship table, five points away from safety and have managed just one win in their last 13 games.


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