Joey Barton: I turned down Portsmouth because I loved playing for Newcastle

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Joey Barton has revealed he turned down a move to Pompey. 

The Fleetwood Town boss told how a switch to the Blues was in the pipeline in 2008 – but he didn’t want to leave Newcastle.

Joey Barton turned down a move to Pompey in 2008

Joey Barton turned down a move to Pompey in 2008

Harry Redknapp was interested in signing Barton on summer transfer deadline day ahead of Pompey’s maiden Uefa Cup campaign. 

The Magpies accepted a bid from the Blues as Redknapp looked to bolster his central-midfield options.

But the one-time England international rejected moving to Fratton Park because he was happy at St James’ Park. 

Ahead of Fleetwood’s League One trip to Pompey on Saturday, Barton told the Blackpool Gazette: ‘I wouldn’t say nearly signed, they tried to sell me to Portsmouth.

‘But I never went there and did a medical or anything like that but they told me what they might offer me in terms of financial package

‘I did not really get down the line with them.

‘The club accepted a bid but I did not want to leave Newcastle. That was kind of that.

‘It was just because I loved playing for Newcastle.

‘It (Pompey) is a good club, in a nice part of the world on the south coast and I was settled where I was.’

Kevin Keegan admitted Newcastle’s board tried to engineer Barton’s switch to Pompey, before he resigned as manager a week later. 

The former Manchester City midfielder confirmed that as true – and feels it was key behind the ex-England boss stepping down from the Magpies hot seat.

Barton added: ‘Kevin Keegan was the manager at the time.

‘He did not want to sell me it was people above who wanted to get rid of a few of us.

‘I think Kevin ultimately ended up resigning over it or that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

‘They tried to get rid of Michael Owen as well, it was probably more so getting rid of Michael Owen.

‘That was something that was mooted.

‘It was something in the pipeline without getting into the solid stages of signing or doing a medical.’