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Manchester Utd. Targets Newcastle’s Barton, Sunday Times Reports

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is considering a move for Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton, the Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

Barton, 29, is in the last year of his contract and may be available for 2 million pounds ($3.3 million), the newspaper said. The player’s agent, Willie Mackay, has already lined up four European clubs, including Roma and Deportivo La Coruna, if Barton runs down his contract, the Times added.

Barton was refused a visa to join Newcastle on its pre-season U.S. tour because of a conviction for assault in 2008. The Times said Barton has become teetotal and cited Newcastle manager Alan Pardew as saying the player has “put his life back on track.”

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