The stars are starting to line up for Newcastle United.
Joey Barton – in action at Stoke City
Some would say it’s about time, since some of us haven’t got an awful lot of time left, before we can see Newcastle being very successful again.
There was great news about captain Kevin Nolan this week, that he would be signing his new contract at Newcastle very soon, and Kevin seemed pleased with everything that had gone on with his contract negotiations.
Joey Barton had said that if Kevin signed then he would do the same thing, and a good report out today suggests Joey will sign a new long term deal at the end of the season.
There seems little doubt that the support of Newcastle fans for Joey over his initial torrid time at the Tyneside club, when he spent 77 days in jail in the summer of 2008, for an altercation he committed while Newcastle player, has had a big effect on Barton’s thinking.
Talks between Newcastle and Barton’s experienced agent Willie McKay broke down in January, shortly after Andy Carroll left the club.
Joey rightly questioned Newcastle’s ambition, and whether if the right offer came in for any player the club would simply sell them.
But it seems the powers that be at Newcastle have allayed Joey’s fears on that front, and Alan Pardew will be given money to significantly strengthen the Newcastle squad this summer.
That’s at least the party line from the club, and a source said to be close to Barton (McKay?) said this today:
“Joey wants to stay at Newcastle, he has never considered leaving and he is extremely confident of signing a new contract at the end of the season,”
“He has a great relationship with the fans, there is no truth in speculation that he wants to quit.”
There have been a number of clubs hovering like vultures, in case Joey’s talks don’t go well, and they would then hope to get Joey on the cheap.
The latest club to express an interest are Liverpool, who for some reason seem to covet a number of Newcastle players, having already swooped for big Andy.
Joey has also had a good season both on and off the pitch, and but for one altercation with Blackburn Rovers’ Morten Gamst Pedersen, for which he received a three match ban, Joey has been very well behaved on the filed.
It will be good news indeed when Newcastle have signed both Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton, and then the next target will be to keep Jose Enrique at the club.
That may be a little harder – but still possible if those stars align!