Stuart Pearce says that Joey Barton still has a future with Manchester City.
The midfielder has yet to sign the contract offered to him in January, but as far as the Manager is concerned the offer is still on the table and he wants the 23-year-old to reproduce the form that it warranted in the first place.
"Last January we made Joey a very good offer, a good one-and-a-half years before his contract was due to run out. We felt as though he had done extremely well, his form had dictated that we offer him a better contract, and a very good one at that," says Pearce.
"We are still in the same situation, the contract is still on the table, there are no concrete offers from anyone and I would like Joey to stay at this football club, I have said that from day one."
Barton has a year to run on his current deal, leading to speculation surrounding his future, but Pearce points out that have been no bids tabled from other clubs and that he looking to work with the player when training resumes next week.
"If I don't have a financial offer for a player that would interest me then I take the view that I still have a decent player, and a player very much on the up. If we don't have an offer for the player, then he does not go anywhere. If the player decides that he does not want to sign the contract, then his contract has another year to go.
"He did not cost us anything, and he does not owe us anything if you like. He came up through the Academy system, he has had every chance at the club and been a regular first team pick for me over the season. I honestly believe that because of the coaching staff here, he has improved as a player, and the ball is in his court. We would like him to stay at this club, and we have backed that statement by offering him a new contract."