Joey Barton Newcastle

In a bizarre twist, Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing disgruntled Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton and have even tabled a 1.5 million pound bid for the same. The player has also been linked with a move to Liverpool where he is wanted by Kenny Dalglish.
Barton is far from happy with the current state of affairs in Tyneside, where a minor player exodus looks on the cards owing to Mike Ashley’s stringent contract negotiating rules set in place. Captain Kevin Nolan has already left for West Ham after a disagreement over the length of his contract, and many players including Barton have expressed their dissatisfaction over this.

It has already been revealed that Barton is not being offered a new contract at Newcastle, and the player had publicly admitted that it would be difficult for him to resist if an opportunity to play in the Champions League presented itself. He said-
Arsenal certainly fit the bill in this regard and Barton should jump at the chance to play at a top club, if Newcastle agree terms with the Gunners over the midfielder.

However, Arsenal is one club that Barton has had a very iffy relationship with over the past few years. The training ground bust-up he had at Manchester City with Osumane Dabo angered most of Arsenal’s French contingent, with Clichy and Sagna publicly blasting Barton over his actions and Nasri famously tripping him in an off-the-ball incident in Newcastle’s game with Arsenal, in the 2008-09 season at the Emirates.

In further unpleasantness, Barton was the perpetrator of a dangerous tackle on Abou Diaby last season at St. James’ Park, which led to the lanky Frenchman losing his nerve and pushing Barton to the floor. This got him sent off and the match ended up in a historic 4-4 draw.
Barton has previously mocked Arsenal in the press, telling them to ‘go and play baseball’ if they were afraid of contact sports. All this vitriol notwithstanding, it seems like mutual need will trump all. Because Arsenal certainly need some bite in midfield and there’s perhaps no one with more bite than Barton. And Barton needs to get out of Newcastle and move forward with his footballing career.

In case the Arsenal move does not come to pass, Kenny Dalglish will be ready to swoop in and buy the player for Liverpool, who are also interested. Stay tuned to find out if this is just smoke, or if there’s a flame crackling somewhere too.
But despite his bad boy reputation, it is believed Rovers boss Sam Allardyce would be happy to take Barton to Ewood Park while Bolton boss Gary Megson may try to lure the Liverpudlian to the Reebok Stadium.

Newcastle will be happy to move Barton on in the summer, no matter whether they stay in the Premier League or are relegated.

Porto defender Aly Cissokho has revealed Tottenham are among a number of clubs interested in signing him in the next few weeks.

The 21-year-old left-back has impressed with his play, especially in the Champions League, since moving from Vitoria Setubal last year.

And his finest moment of a spectacular season was in Porto's Champions League quarter-final clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford when he shackled Cristiano Ronaldo.

'I have a contract until 2012 and the club officials want me to add another year to that,' Cissokho said. 'That shows they have trust in me and I am proud of that.

'I also know there are big clubs looking at me, and Tottenham is one of them and that is fine. I will talk with my club and we will see what happens from there.'

Cissokho has also confirmed Atletico Madrid are in contention to sign him.

Meanwhile, Manchester United and Liverpool will be told Aaron Lennon is not for sale if they try to lure the England winger away from Tottenham in the summer.

Spurs regard the former Leeds starlet as key to their plans to gatecrash the premier League's top four in the next couple of years.

United will turn their attentions to 23-year-old Ecuador star Antonio Valencia as Wigan could use the funds to strengthen their team and Sir Alex Ferguson is also reported to be preparing a world record £60m for Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery.

Liverpool may struggle to raise funds for Lennon if they also decide to pursue Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry and Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is lining up a summer bid to bring Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari back to the Premier League even if Jermaine Jenas does not head in the opposite direction.

But Mexican whizzkid Giovanni Dos Santos will not be allowed to move to Ipswich on a permanent basis despite his impressive loan spell at Portman Road.

Manchester City want a £1m loan fee for number two goalkeeper Joe Hart, with Birmingham ready to pay it. And Blues are also keen on 19-year-old Plymouth winger Ashley Barnes, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Newly-promoted Birmingham are also interested in a number of players from north of the border with most of them currently earning their trade at Rangers.

They have been linked with deals for striker Kris Boyd, defender Madjid Bougherra and disgraced Scotland duo Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor.

Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies will launch a £2.5m bid for on-loan QPR striker Dexter Blackstock and goalkeeper Lee Camp.

Davies will also ask to take Tottenham defender Chris Gunter again on a long-term loan.

And Derby boss Nigel Clough will look to offload a number of costly flops this summer, including goalkeeper Roy Carroll and striker Emanuel Villa.

Leeds, meanwhile, will fight it out with Leicester for the signature of Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis - if the Elland Road outfit win promotion to the Championship. Davis is out of contract in the summer.


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