Bolton And Pompey Battle For Barton!

Last updated : 11 January 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor

Portsmouth boss Tony Adams has made Barton his No.1 target and Bolton have also expressed an interest with Trotters chief Gary Megson thought to have had an offer snubbed.

Mike Ashley and Kevin Keegan clashed over Barton at the height of the midfielder's troubles when the Scouser went to jail.

Keegan insisted the club back him, but Ashley was furious when the player refused to take a pay cut on his £60,000 per week wages while he was behind bars.

Ashley wanted him out of the club, and was allegedly willing to let Barton go to Bolton on loan ... as long as they paid his wages.

Bolton would only pay him £30,000 and expected the Magpies to pay the other half, which Ashley refuse.

Ashley is believed to be holding out for a sum in the region of £6.5million for Barton as he looks to recoup most of the fee they paid for him in the summer of 2007.

Barton's agent Willie McKay: "I am not surprised there is interest in Joey Barton.

"I believe Bolton made an approach for him which was rejected, while Portsmouth have also made a firm enquiry which was turned down.

"Joey is happy at Newcastle until he is told otherwise.

"If Newcastle decide to sell him and accept a bid we will deal with it then."