Friday 24 November 2017

Barton twitters on with defiant words

Luke Edwards

Joey Barton has hinted that he could stay at Newcastle even though he has been transfer-listed and made to train on his own, and manager Alan Pardew is close to signing Bayer Leverkusen winger Tranquillo Barnetta as his replacement.

Although Barton's agent Willie McKay claims there is plenty of interest in the midfielder following the news he had been offered as a free transfer by the Magpies earlier this week, the 28-year-old has suggested he may yet decide to dig his heels in on Tyneside.

Once again communicating via his Twitter account Barton said: "Just because ur told to jump, it does not necessarily mean u have to. I may choose to stand perfectly still. It's my right... just a thought."

As with much of the week, Barton was not done there, once again searching for famous quotes on the internet to paint himself as a 'crusader for truth' in his PR battle on Twitter.

He added: "Quote of the day: If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington."

Whether Barton's wish to stay at a club which has told him he is no longer welcome is genuine, or whether he is only interested in making things uncomfortable for the Newcastle hierarchy is unclear, but there is a suggestion from those close to the player he has not been impressed with the quality of clubs interested in signing him, with Stoke City apparently the most high-profile club to have made an enquiry.

Barnetta scored twice for Switzerland against England at Wembley in June and the 26-year-old, who would cost around £4m, is thought to be keen on a new challenge after seven seasons with Leverkusen.

Meanwhile, Manchester City expect Carlos Tevez to return to training today after the disaffected Argentinian failed to secure the move away from England he so desperately craves.

Despite his attempts to secure a transfer, the club captain will be invited to prepare for the new season as a full member of the squad by manager Roberto Mancini.

Tevez will not be subject to the same treatment as Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy, who have both been made to train on their own since returning from loan spells at Real Madrid and Cardiff.

Instead, he will be assessed by City's medical team after being afforded an extended break following his involvement in Argentina's abortive Copa America campaign and then included in full training.

He will not play in Sunday's Community Shield clash with Manchester United, though. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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