Barton biding his time
Midfielder Joey Barton has warned his future at Newcastle will depend on the club matching his ambition.
Barton was understood to be ready sign a new deal in January before striker Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool for £35million. Both Barton and the club have repeatedly spoken of their hopes of striking a deal since, although they are currently at odds over the length of the proposed contract and the former Manchester City man wants to club to match his ambition.
In an interview with French magazine So Foot, he said: "If (Kevin) Nolan signs a new deal, I will as well. But I hope the club step things up. I want to be ambitious and I think the club share that desire."
He added: "It's important to respect the people who come to the stadium or watch the games on telly.
"That's what I told [the Newcastle management]. I told them the goal shouldn't be just to survive, to finish 16th or 17th, every season.
"We had a good player, Carroll, and we sold him. I told the management that I was worried, that I was scared this might happen every year. But they assured me they don't want to go down that road.
"I don't know if I believe them. I told them I might stay this summer because we have some good players and money to spend. But I'm going to wait and see if players like Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote and Jose Enrique stay."
Spanish full-back Enrique, 25, has been linked with a move away from St James' Park for some time after excelling in the Barclays Premier League following a difficult start on Tyneside, while Nolan scored his 12th goal of the season in Saturday's 4-1 victory over Wolves.
Ivory Coast international Tiote has proved to be one of the signings of the season and was rewarded with a new six-and-a-half-year contract in February just six months after his arrival from FC Twente as the club attempted to demonstrate its desire to build for the future.