Could Joey Barton be heading back to the Premier League?

Controversial QPR midfielder Joey Barton is interested in a move to Everton according to his agent

Controversial QPR midfielder Joey Barton is interested in a move to Everton according to his agent

According to his agent QPR’s Joey Barton could soon be heading back to the English top-flight, as the midfielder is prepared to take a wage cut to join boyhood team Everton.

Barton spent last season on-loan at French club Marseille, but his reported £70,000 a-week pay packet put the Ligue One outfit off signing him on a permanent deal.

Offloading

Barton’s current club QPR are attempting to offload a number of big earners, as the Hoops prepare for life in the second tier of English football. Boss Harry Redknapp is believed to be looking to reshape his squad before the transfer window shuts in early September.

Barton is one of the big earners that Redknapp could be looking to offload. However, Redknapp is ready to play Barton in Rangers’ opening game of the season on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday.

Blue

Barton has never tried to hide his allegiance when it comes to football. He is an Evertonian through and through. He has been linked with a move to his boyhood club on a number of occasions in the past, but a move has never materialised.

Agent

The midfielder’s agent Willie McKay revealed the story by telling TalkSPORT: “Obviously his package with QPR is pretty big for Marseille’s terms really.

“Joey said there was only one club he would make a sacrifice for and it would be Everton and I made that call to Martinez, that is the club he loves. I have approached them and said Joey would love to have Everton on his CV.

“Fair play to him he said he would lose money to go to Everton – and not many professionals would do that.

“Roberto Martinez said he likes him as a player and he also spoke to (Martinez’s assistant) Graeme Jones, who loves him as a player. Anything can happen in football. It could happen.”

Controversial

I think controversial is too soft a word to describe Joseph (as he prefers to be called) Barton. He has been in more scrapes than Charles Bronson and his career has been littered with misdemeanours, including assaulting a teammate in training and trying to take on the whole Manchester City team, after being shown a red card against the Citizens in 2012.

His actions after the latter incident lead to Barton receiving a 12 game ban. These are just two incidents from Joey Barton’s long rap sheet. The midfielder is definitely a ticking bomb, just waiting to go off. Barton has vowed to control himself on a number of occasions, but still seems to explode at the drop of a hat.

He even manages to get himself in trouble on social networking website Twitter. His Twitter account must be one of the most popular for sports media hacks looking for a story.

Talented

Putting aside all the controversy and incidents, as hard it may be, Barton is a very useful footballer on his day. That is why so many clubs have signed him, despite knowing the incidents he has been involved in throughout his career.

Barton played a part in Marseille qualifying for the Champions League from Ligue One last season, as his parent club QPR were relegated to the Championship, with no more than a whimper.

Barton’s presence may just have galvanised the Hoops last season, but then may it may not have, who knows. He definitely would have put up more of a fight, maybe in a literal sense, than most of the QPR players did last season that is for sure.

Barton should have been a contender, but instead he is considered as one of the least likeable footballers that England has ever produced. It is just a shame because the 30-year-old does have talent.

Tempting

The offer must be a tempting one for Everton boss Roberto Martinez. He would get a very decent central midfielder for a small fee and relatively low wages. The Toffee’s do not have the budget of the sides they are expected to compete against, so it could be a good deal financially.

However, Martinez has to weigh up Barton’s talents, against the powder keg that is considered Joey Barton’s mental state. Barton has not been able to behave himself at other clubs, why should he at Everton.

It is a difficult decision because Barton could completely unsettle the Toffees dressing room. He does not exactly hold back on the managers he plays for either, so Martinez has to consider that as well. The new Everton boss will want to impress in the new season and a disruptive influence is not what he needs at the club.

No thanks

As much as I think that the signing of Barton would be a decent deal financially for Everton, I think the midfielder comes with far too much baggage. I believe that Everton should say thanks, but no thanks to Joseph and his agent.

Should Everton sign Joey Barton?

Wed 31 July, 2013
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Luna confident over Premier League test

Antonio Luna believes he has the qualities to perform well for Aston Villa in the Premier League next season.

The defender left-back arrived at Villa Park from Sevilla in June and is ready to be thrown in at the deep end when the new campaign kicks off.

Paul Lambert signed the 22-year-old to provide competition for current first-choice left-back Joe Bennett, and Luna is confident he can adapt quickly to challenge for a regular place in the manager’s starting XI.

He has played a part in all six of Villa’s pre-season friendlies and has already noticed some differences in the style of English football when compared to La Liga.

“Football here in England is very quick, very rapid. It’s a complicated league,” Luna told the club’s official website. “For me it’s great that this league is fast.

“I still need to adapt to things, of course, and feel I am all the time.

“I feel I have the characteristics to play here. I think I have good athletic abilities – I am quick as a player and that is important in a division like the Barclays Premier League.

“It is close now and I am really excited about that.”

Luna will hope to be named in the side for Villa’s opening fixture of the new Premier League season, which comes when they travel to Arsenal on August 17.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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J-League Wrap: Sanfrecce beat Omiya to move clear

Sanfrecce Hiroshima moved three points clear at the top of the J-League thanks to a hat-trick from Naoki Ishihara
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against Omiya Ardija.

Ishihara was the key man as Sanfrecce secured a 3-1 win over second-placed Omiya on Wednesday as the battle for the title intensifies.

The striker struck after just four minutes to give the hosts the lead, but Omiya looked to have earned a point 74 minutes in when midfielder Daigo Watanabe levelled things up.

Ishihara was not finished, however, the 28-year-old netting nine minutes from time before making sure of all three points with his third in the 94th minute.

Yokohama F. Marinos stay third, but they could only manage a 1-1 draw with Kashiwa Reysol, Marquinhos’ 31st-minute penalty cancelled out by a an 89th-minute own-goal.

Urawa Red Diamonds are a point behind following their 2-1 win at relegation-threatened Jubilo Iwata, defender Ryota Moriwaki scoring an injury-time winner after Marcio Richardes had tied things up following Yuchi Komano’s opener for the home side.

There was disappointment for fifth-placed Cerezo Osaka as they slipped to a surprise 1-0 loss at Albirex Niigata, Kentaro Ohi netting in the 72nd minute.

Ventforet Kofu fell into the bottom three by virtue of their 1-0 home defeat to Vegalta Sendai, Brazilian forward Wilson scoring the only goal of the game after 22 minutes.

Kofu’s slip-up allowed Shonan Bellmare and Sagan Tosu to edge away from the drop zone with wins over Kawasaki Frontale and Oita Trinita respectively.

Shonan had to come from behind to secure success at Kawasaki, Wataru Endo and Kaoru Takayama finding the net in the second half after Yoshito Okubo had scored his 13th of the campaign just before the interval.

Meanwhile, Sagan won a 3-2 thriller against Oita thanks to a late winner from Diego Ambuila.

Akihiro Sakata put the visitors ahead after 40 minutes, but Kei Ikeda levelled matters 11 minutes into the second half before a Yohei Toyoda penalty on the hour mark put Sagan in control.

Daiki Takamatsu brought Oita back into the game just two minutes later, but Ambuila struck 14 minutes from time.

Nagoya Grampus were 3-1 winers over Kashima Antlers, Australia international Josh Kennedy netting a double while 33-year-old striker Keiji Tamada also scored to wrap up a comfortable triumph.

Elsewhere, Shimizu S-Pulse played out a goalless draw with Tokyo.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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J-League Wrap: Sanfrecce beat Omiya to move clear

Sanfrecce Hiroshima moved three points clear at the top of the J-League thanks to a hat-trick from Naoki Ishihara against Omiya Ardija.

Ishihara was the key man as Sanfrecce secured a 3-1 win over second-placed Omiya on Wednesday as the battle for the title intensifies.

The striker struck after just four minutes to give the hosts the lead, but Omiya looked to have earned a point 74 minutes in when midfielder Daigo Watanabe levelled things up.

Ishihara was not finished, however, the 28-year-old netting nine minutes from time before making sure of all three points with his third in the 94th minute.

Yokohama F. Marinos stay third, but they could only manage a 1-1 draw with Kashiwa Reysol, Marquinhos’ 31st-minute penalty cancelled out by a an 89th-minute own-goal.

Urawa Red Diamonds are a point behind following their 2-1 win at relegation-threatened Jubilo Iwata, defender Ryota Moriwaki scoring an injury-time winner after Marcio Richardes had tied things up following Yuchi Komano’s opener for the home side.

There was disappointment for fifth-placed Cerezo Osaka as they slipped to a surprise 1-0 loss at Albirex Niigata, Kentaro Ohi netting in the 72nd minute.

Ventforet Kofu fell into the bottom three by virtue of their 1-0 home defeat to Vegalta Sendai, Brazilian forward Wilson scoring the only goal of the game after 22 minutes.

Kofu’s slip-up allowed Shonan Bellmare and Sagan Tosu to edge away from the drop zone with wins over Kawasaki Frontale and Oita Trinita respectively.

Shonan had to come from behind to secure success at Kawasaki, Wataru Endo and Kaoru Takayama finding the net in the second half after Yoshito Okubo had scored his 13th of the campaign just before the interval.

Meanwhile, Sagan won a 3-2 thriller against Oita thanks to a late winner from Diego Ambuila.

Akihiro Sakata put the visitors ahead after 40 minutes, but Kei Ikeda levelled matters 11 minutes into the second half before a Yohei Toyoda penalty on the hour mark put Sagan in control.

Daiki Takamatsu brought Oita back into the game just two minutes later, but Ambuila struck 14 minutes from time.

Nagoya Grampus were 3-1 winers over Kashima Antlers, Australia international Josh Kennedy netting a double while 33-year-old striker Keiji Tamada also scored to wrap up a comfortable triumph.

Elsewhere, Shimizu S-Pulse played out a goalless draw with Tokyo.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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Monchi: No formal offers for Kondogbia

Sevilla sporting director Monchi has revealed the club have yet to receive a formal offer for highly-rated midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.

The 20-year-old made a big impression during his debut campaign with the Andalusian side following a move from French outfit Lens that is believed to have been partly funded by private investment firm Doyen Group.

He has subsequently been linked with a move to Real Madrid, as new boss Carlo Ancelotti looks to further revamp his midfield following the arrival of Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad.

But Monchi has now claimed that no approach has been made for the Frenchman, and insists Sevilla have full control of his future despite his unusual ownership situation.

“100 per cent of Kondogbia’s federative rights belong to Sevilla. The only thing that is different is his economic rights. Only Sevilla can decide (his future),” he told Marca.

“The only thing to say about Kondogbia is that he returns on Friday and he has four seasons remaining on his contract. Up to today we have not had a formal offer. Kondogbia is an important player for the team and his growth is important.

“I don’t fear him going. Navas and Negredo have gone. If in the end Geoffrey leaves we can find a substitute, but it is not my plan at the moment.”

Kondogbia made 23 starts for Sevilla in La Liga last term, scoring one goal.

The France Under-20 international is currently taking in part in preparations for Sevilla’s UEFA Europa League third qualifying round clash with Mladost Podgorica on Thursday.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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Lewandowski ´cheated´ by Dortmund hierarchy

Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski feels “cheated” by the decision not to allow him to leave the club.

The Poland international looked set to join Dortmund’s Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich this close-season, with his contract set to expire in a year’s time.

However, it now appears as though Lewandowski will remain at Signal Iduna Park, something which he says was not the plan agreed with Dortmund chiefs.

“If someone says something, he should keep his word. I’m not saying it’s only about the transfer, but other things we have discussed with management and that has not materialised,” Lewandowski told Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

“It turns out that words spoken straight into my eyes were untrue.”

Since joining Dortmund in 2010 from Lech Poznan, he has scored 74 times, including an impressive four-goal haul against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals last season.

Lewandowski also featured in the DFL Super Cup win over Bayern on Sunday but believes his ill feeling towards Dortmund’s hierarchy will remain.

“No matter how hard I will train and what I will do, the feeling that I’ve been cheated will still be there,” he continued.

Dortmund get their Bundesliga campaign under way on August 10 against Augsburg at the SGL Arena.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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Malaga announce Pawlowski capture

La Liga outfit Malaga have signed Polish attacker Bartlomiej Pawlowski on a season-long loan deal, with a view to a permanent move.

Pawlowski will link up with Bernd Schuster’s squad from Widzew Lodz immediately and add depth to a squad decimated by several key departures in the close-season.

Isco, Jeremy Toulalan, Joaquin, Martin Demichelis and Julio Baptista have all left Malaga in a bid to reduce their hefty wage bill.

Pawlowski helped Widzew Lodz avoid relegation from the Ekstraklasa last term, scoring four goals in 15 matches following a mid-season loan move from Jagiellonia Bialystok.

After moving to the Stadion Widzewa permanently in June for €50,000, Pawlowski is already back on the move.

He has represented Poland at both Under-19 and Under-21 level.

The 20-year-old will be presented to the Spanish club’s supporters on Wednesday afternoon at their home stadium, La Rosaleda.

Malaga finished sixth in La Liga last term and reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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De Rossi wants revitalised Roma

Roma stalwart Daniele De Rossi wants his club to revitalise themselves under new manager Rudi Garcia this season.

Roma will enter their third successive campaign with a different manager, aiming to break into the top five in the Serie A for the first time since 2009-10.

Garcia has bought well in the close-season with Kevin Strootman, Mehdi Benatia, Maicon and Morgan De Sanctis the headline arrivals at the Stadio Olimpico.

“The last few seasons have not gone well, that is clear,” De Rossi said.

“What we need is to be reborn. And we start from here, we start with pre-season. It’s the preparation for a revival ahead of an important year.

“The club has always been a strong one, even in the years that things didn’t go so well.

“However, something has been missing or else we wouldn’t have had these seasons that were not too positive.

“We are not missing that much at Roma, but we are lacking a little. What we really need is enthusiasm. We need to put a winning run of games together and start to believe in ourselves again.”

De Rossi – who has been a Roma player since graduating from their youth ranks in 2001 – has been used in a variety of positions throughout his career.

And the 30-year-old Italy international says he is happy to play anywhere for Garcia in the new season.

“I do everything. I’ve always done that. I’ve never made myself unavailable for a particular tactical solution,” he said.

“I’ve played as a playmaker, a ball-winner, even as a defender. I think that has been under-estimated.”

Roma open their Serie A campaign at Livorno on the first weekend of the season, to be held on the weekend of August 24 and 25.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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Sevilla keen on Uruguay starlet

Sevilla have set their sights on Penarol midfielder Sebastian Cristoforo, Marca has revealed on Wednesday.

Los Rojiblancos are hoping to keep hold of both Gary Medel and Geoffrey Kondogbia, having cashed in on Alvaro Negredo and Cesar Navas, but they would prefer to have a plan B in place as well.

In case they receive an offer they cannot refuse for one of the two holding midfielders, Sevilla will make a move on Penarol starlet Sebastian Cristoforo.

The 19-year-old has shone at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey and he is seen as an excellent prospect for the future.

Despite his fragile age, the talented midfielder has already amassed 45 top flight appearances for Penarol, while featuring in no less than 14 Copa Libertadores fixtures.

The fact that he also holds an Italian passport makes him even more appealing to Sevilla officials, who could launch an assault on him in the coming weeks provided the price is right.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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Adan nears Sporting Lisbon switch

Sporting Lisbon are closing in on former Real Madrid goalkeeper Adan, Spanish newspaper AS understands.

The 26-year-old has been a free agent since his contract at Santiago Bernabeu expired a month ago, and he is on the lookout for a new club.

Valencia, Elche, Almeria and Rayo Vallecano were all showing interest in the experienced shot-stopper, but his wage demands proved to be a problem.

Adan was earning around €700,000 per campaign at Real Madrid and he does not want to accept a pay cut.

Nevertheless, AS is reporting that Sporting Lisbon are prepared to meet his demands as they search for a long-term successor to Rui Patricio.

The Portugal international is widely tipped to leave Estadio Jose Alvalade this summer and the Lions believe Adan would be a decent replacement.

While the player continues to train with Castilla, his representatives are in negotiations with Sporting Lisbon and are reportedly close to reaching an agreement.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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