The Tavern loves a bit of a nutter, and Premiership bad-boy Joey Barton is one of the most discussed figures in here. The scouse midfielder can never quite seem to settle and make his mind up, one minute he is a changed character and has learned from previous mistakes the next minute he is punching opposition players in the chest in front of TV cameras.
The only thing that we all generally agree on is that Barton is frustratingly talented and that is why there is always someone willing to take on the mountains of baggage that come with the fiery 28 year old.
In a new turn of events according to that wonderful source The People, Barton is drawing admiring glances from German side Hamburg and it is thought that the player would not be adverse to a stint in the Bundesliga as he enters the next stage of his career, the problem for Newcastle is that with the players contract expiring in 18 months and there being no signs of an end to the contractual disagreement, the value of the player on the open market would not be overly great, so if they can not come to an agreement they might be tempted to sell the player this Summer rather than losing him for nothing next year.
If you believe reports the Newcastle hard-man is actually willing to take a £1million a year pay cut to stay at St James’ Park but he has asked for a 3 year extension, however the club are only willing to offer him 2 additional years on top of the 18 months that is still to run. The indication here is that this is surely just penny pinching from Geordie favourite Mike Ashley. It isn’t as if Barton is asking for a contract that would tie him to the club until his late 30s, he would be 32 when the contract he has asked for expired, not really old by Premiership standards.
Barton has been an important player to Newcastle this term and he has adapted his game to play out wide when required, his hard working, and positive attitude has undoubtedly had a good effect on the rest of the team. I think it would be a really bad sign for the club if he were to leave, especially because of the short contract he has left they wouldn’t receive a lot of money for him. How they would replace him I am unsure.
The player genuinely seems to want to stay in the Northeast and if this whole disagreement is over 12 months of a contract then I think Mike Ashley and the powers that be at Newcastle would be daft for not offering him the length of deal he wants, especially if he is willing to take a pay cut as has been reported.
If he is to move, I do wonder how well he would adapt to life in Germany, technically I think he may struggle, but his passion and drive would clearly be an asset. As always though with Barton, his future success is down to whether he can get his head together and just stay on the straight and narrow, if he can do that, he’d be a great asset and for the sake of Newcastle I hope this disagreement can be sorted.
For more of my thoughts and stories, follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe!
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