Main news yesterday was centred around the future of Joey Barton, with Everton having confirmed they had been rebuffed in their approach for the midfielder. What is strange is that it is well known Barton has the release clause in his contract (triggered at £5.5 million) that allows him to speak to other clubs, so what amount did Everton offer?
Presumably it wasn't this amount as surely the club would have to grant permission for Barton to have the opportunity to speak with Everton. It does seem that Everton will not be back for him though as later in the day Barton has confirmed he is happy at City:
"I've stated on record I don't want to leave this
football club....I'm playing good football here, I'm happy, we are going in the
right direction and people are trying to unsettle me but I am settled here and
happy here and happy to play football for this football club....I'm happy, I'm
playing good football and the team is going forward.
"I've got a manager who
believes in me and a football club who I am proud to play for and I am totally
settled at this football club at this present time."
Still, it didn't stop The Mirror this morning from stating 'Stu faces battle to keep Barton' - despite printing in the article Barton's comments that he has no interest in leaving.
Judging by another strong performance in last nights victory over Sheffield Wednesday, it is imperative that we keep Barton as there are signs over a promising trio in midfield along with Dabo and Ireland - and although £5.5 million would be a sizeable fee, it would take that and more to replace what he currently offers the side.
Elsewhere, it seems that any efforts to sign Spanish striker Kepa may be coming to an end, as although it was earlier reported that we were close to a deal, Sky Sports later claimed that Charlton were the front-runners and set to head off any late bid from ourselves.
This could open the way for a move for Argentinian striker Fernando Cavenaghi - who is currently unsettled at Spartak Moscow. Cavenaghi was somewhat of a prodigy at River Plate but has struggled to replicate this form in Russia and it maybe that an initial loan move could secure him with a view to a permanent move in the summer - although a fee for both a loan and permanent move scuppered a move to Racing Santander.