Stuart Pearce has confirmed Manchester City have made unsettled midfielder Joey Barton a revised contract offer.
Although the deal is only thought to involve minor tweaks to the one Barton so controversially snubbed a fortnight ago, Pearce hopes it will be enough to persuade the former England U21 star to commit his future to Eastlands.
“We recently made Joey a new offer but it is obviously nowhere near the offer he made us but we hope he stays at this club because it would be very good for him,” said Pearce.
“Hopefully it is a two-fold thing. We will be good for his career and he will be good for ours. I want us to flourish together.”
Ten days after being jeered by his own fans after slapping in his well-publicised transfer request, Barton was back in the City fans’ good books again after smashing home a superb 30-yard strike which turned out to the the winning goal in his side’s 3-2 triumph over Charlton.
Barton raced gleefully to the City fans clutching his badge after the effort and suggested afterwards he could stay beyond the end of his current deal, which expires in 2007.
“The talks are going quite well and I hope to sign it shortly,” Barton told Sky Sports.
“I have had a disappointing 12 months, some of it I have caused myself and some of it I haven’t. But it is always an outlet to get on the pitch and show what I can do.”
Barton just edged the goal of the match competition, although Richard Dunne provided a plausible contender with a volleyed opener – his first goal since April 2004.
Darren Bent pulled Charlton level immediately after the break with his 16th goal of the season, but £6m (€8.8m) new-boy Georgios Samaras restored City’s lead with a well-taken header before Barton struck.
Marcus Bent grabbed one back for the visitors and it took a superb injury-time stop from David James to deny Talal El Karkouri and ensure City collected the win which kept them in contention for a UEFA Cup spot and ensured Charlton were not allowed to build on their midweek win over Liverpool.
“We looked a bit lethargic in the first-half,” said Charlton boss Alan Curbishley.
“But I wouldn’t blame the Liverpool game for this defeat. It just followed a similar pattern to our other away performances recently.”