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Hammers in £3m Toon Raid: Is This the Start of the Rot?

Joey BartonMidfielder Joey Barton could be out of the door at St. James’ Park in a mass exodus following to sacking of popular manager Chris Hughton.

Newcastle fans have been deeply upset by the termination of Hughton’s employment at the club and do not see Alan Pardew’s installation as any justification for their actions. Club defender Jose Enrique told the Daily Mail that the players share the feelings of the fans.

Hughton had helped midfielder, Barton, maintain his behavior which has led to a massive improvement in his form. Many sources have stated that the midfielder’s resurgence has been pivotal in the development of the highly rated Andy Carroll.

However, following Hughton’s unexpected exit, West Ham boss Avram Grant is apparently looking at a £3million offer for the 28-year-old. Barton impressed Grant in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over the Hammers and only has 18 months left on his contract.

Some Hammers fans may be weary though. Barton managed to fall back into his old ways just a month ago when he punched Mortem Gamst Pedersen in the chest when facing Blackburn at St. James Park. Though, Newcastle coaching staff have still been impressed with his overall improvement from the young upstart that once spent time in prison.

Could any deal for Barton open the floodgates at St. James Park? The decisions made by chairman Mike Ashley will have certainly upset some of the Newcastle players which could leave new boss, Pardew, inheriting a dressing room in revolt. In order to maintain order, Pardew may have to face losing some of his brightest talent.

Follow Matt Visser on Twitter @Matt_V_Football

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Article title: Hammers in £3m Toon Raid: Is This the Start of the Rot?

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