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Old 12th May 2007, 11:41   #1
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Default Police arrange to question Barton

Police arrange to question Barton
By Pat Hurst
Independent 12 May 2007

Police are to interview the Manchester City and England midfielder Joey Barton over reports that he attacked a team-mate.

Barton is alleged to have assaulted Ousmane Dabo in a training-ground fight. Dabo later made a complaint to police and Barton has been suspended by his club for the rest of the season. He is due to meet club representatives on Tuesday to discuss his future.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "We are due to speak to a 25-year-old man in connection with a report of assault from a 30-year-old man. Arrangements are being made for the 25-year-old man to go to a police station for questioning. Inquiries are ongoing."

Police gave no further details about arrangements to interview him. Despite his disciplinary problems Barton's situation at Eastlands has generated interest from a number of clubs, with Everton being touted as favourites to sign him at the end of the season. Barton's agent, Willie McKay, has said that City would be willing to let him leave if a prospective buyer met the £5.5m asking price which would trigger talks under the terms of his contract.

Michael Owen remains committed to Newcastle United, according to the club's caretaker manager Nigel Pearson. Pearson was yesterday preparing to lead the Magpies into their final game of an eventful season at Watford tomorrow against the backdrop of Glenn Roeder's resignation and speculation about his successor.

Another torrid week, even by Newcastle's recent standards, had seen 27-year-old Owen's future on Tyneside brought into question. Freddy Shepherd, the chairman, issued an ultimatum to the England striker on Thursday amid reports that he could leave for as little as £9m in the summer after two injury-plagued campaigns at St James' Park which have seen him make 13 appearances.

Newcastle yesterday laughed off amateur video footage, broadcast on the internet, of Shepherd responding to questions from a Liverpool supporter about Owen's future, in which he jokingly suggests a return to Anfield.

A statement said: "Anyone who has seen this video clip will immediately regard it for exactly what it is. It is nothing more than tongue-in-cheek banter in the most light-hearted fashion that nobody could take remotely seriously. The chairman shows just how approachable he is by having a laugh with a couple of fans."
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