Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has rejected rumours that Joey Barton refused to play last week against Bolton over his contract impasse.
Barton was a late withdrawal from the Magpies side to face the Trotters last Saturday after picking up a thigh injury.
His absence from the side led to rumours that Barton had walked out after contract talks broke down but Pardew insists the combative midfielder remains committed to the cause.
"I saw a couple of whispers last week - not in the national media - that he didn't want to play," said Pardew. "It's absolutely not true. He's desperate to play tomorrow [against Everton].
"Joey's commitment to play for us. Don't doubt that. He's going to come in early and try and play through that injury."
Barton has just over a year to run on his current contract and he was the subject of interest from Aston Villa and West Ham during the January transfer window.
Pardew admits they are back to square one in regards to the one-time England international's contract and that it is unlikely to be resolved until the summer.
"I don't think the situation has changed in the last week," added Pardew.
"We'll have to sit down with Joey and start again because we thought we were there but it hasn't quite materialised. I'm not going to go into detail."