Manchester United are reportedly considering a surprise move for Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton.
According to the Sunday Times, the Barclays Premier League champions have identified the 28-year-old as a potential acquisition in their pursuit of midfield reinforcements.
United have lost Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves this summer and - with Darron Gibson also linked with the Old Trafford exit - Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to bolster his ranks.
A move for Barton would certainly come as a shock, but the United boss is reported to be looking to add some extra steel to his ranks.
Barton, however, has responded to United's supposed interest by stating he has no interest in making a switch to Old Trafford.
"Nice to be linked with some big clubs today but I honestly don’t want to leave Newcastle," he said. "Thanks but no thanks."
He added: "I will most likely leave Newcastle at end of season, when my contract expires and I am no longer employed. Its (sic) out of my hands."