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Leicester 17:30 Everton

City dismiss Barton enquiry

By Mark Buckingham.   Last Updated: 16/01/07 9:42am

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David Moyes has confirmed he enquired about bringing Joey Barton to Everton, but was knocked back by Manchester City.

Reports have claimed that Moyes is looking to activate a £5.5million clause in the midfielder's contract.

Barton has been linked with several Premiership clubs during the January transfer window, but City boss Stuart Pearce insists the England hopeful is not for sale.

Pearce also revealed that he has not received any offers for Barton, or any of his star players.

Everton did test the water with an enquiry, but manager Moyes admits he stopped short of making a bid due to City's stance on Barton's future.

"I can confirm that we have made an enquiry for Joey Barton," Moyes told the club's official website.

"However, Manchester City made it clear he was not for sale and we respect the wishes of the club and Stuart Pearce."

Barton, a boyhood Everton fan, has impressed for City this season, chipping in with five goals from central midfield and he is tipped to be included in England's squad for the February friendly with Spain.

The player's agent Willie McKay, meanwhile, outlined the clause which entitles Barton to talk to other clubs once the £5.5m fee has been matched.

McKay told Sky Sports News: "Joey Barton is entitled to speak to any club that makes an offer of £5.5m.

"Manchester City can't turn that down and refuse him permission to open talks. It's then up to Joey Barton whether he wants to leave or whether he wants to stay."

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