Reports this morning that Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier is ready to step up his interest in Newcastle’s 28 year-old midfielder Joey Barton in January
Joey Barton – with new manager Alan Pardew recently
Joey Barton of course has been in top form for Newcastle United this season, and is playing some of the best football of his career, and there are not too many better midfielders than Joey in England’s top league right now.
Of course Joey has a very bad reputation in football, but maybe gaining just a little bit of sympathy over the last couple of years as it becomes obvious he’s trying hard to mend his ways.
And even when he lost it and punched Morten Pedersen in the chest recently – and was suspended for three games – he profoundly apologized to the Newcastle manager, club and to their loyal fans – and also revealingly admitted he was fighting his demons every single day.
Joey also put in a call to Morten and apologized to him personally, and Pedersen went public to say Joey was trying so very hard to beat his demons.
Villa manager Gerard Houllier is said to have some doubts about the 28-year-old former Everton star, but the French manager also needs to get Aston Villa picking up some points, and quickly too.
Of course one of the factors clubs may move for Joey Barton and even Jose Enrique, is that both their contracts run out in a short 18 months, and they could pick them up at a decent transfer fee next month.
But we also think that new manager Alan Pardew has made it abundantly clear to the powers that be at Newcastle, that both Joey and Jose are players he wants to build the future side around.
And Alan will no doubt be pressing owner Mike Ashley to offer new contracts to the two of them – and sooner rather than later.
But as things stand right now, don’t be surprised if offers for both players come in during the January transfer window, and as we already know, West Ham have already had a bid turned down for Joey, within the last few weeks.
We would hope that Mike Ashley will start contract negotiations with both players very soon, but we have no idea if he will.
We know as much about what Mike Ashley thinks, as the Man in the Moon – and that’s not much.