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Villa, Stoke ready to bid for Newcastle midfielder Barton

The race for Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton is heating up.

The Times says Stoke City are among a number of clubs to have expressed an interest in Barton who has been made available by Newcastle United as the midfield player enters the final year of his contract at St James' Park.

Aston Villa and Everton are monitoring the situation, as is Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager.

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Newcastle transfer market news and gossip.

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