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Barton in talks to join West Ham

Published 10/08/2015

Free agent Joey Barton could be on his way to West Ham
Free agent Joey Barton could be on his way to West Ham

West Ham are in talks to sign former QPR midfielder Joey Barton.

Barton, a free agent following his release from the relegated Hoops, has been targeted to increase manager Slaven Bilic's options in midfield.

West Ham began their Barclays Premier League season with a surprise 2-0 victory at Arsenal on Sunday, when 16-year-old defensive midfielder Reece Oxford made his debut.

Oxford was among the Hammers' most impressive players but as recently as Thursday Bilic's lack of strength in depth was highlighted when the defeat of a weakened team selected away at Romania's Astra Giurgiu ended their Europa League campaign.

An ankle injury to one of last season's loanees, Alex Song, has so far prevented him from returning to the club on a permanent basis.

Should Barton agree personal terms to join West Ham he will be reunited with Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll, his former Newcastle team-mates.

Barton and Carroll, notably, produced the finest form of their careers while playing together.

The 32-year-old midfielder watched Aston Villa's 1-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday, and said: "Judging by this game it won't be long before I get a phone call from somebody (to sign for them).

"The best player might be sitting in the stands this afternoon, even if I do say so myself."

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