Clubs lining up to lure Barton
Joey Barton would appear to have his pick of clubs as he sets about again resurrecting his turbulent career ahead of the new Barclays Premier League season.
On Monday, Barton was informed by Newcastle he could leave on a free transfer amid his ongoing criticisms of the Magpies hierarchy on Twitter, and the breakdown in talks over a new contract. Despite a chequered past the 28-year-old seemingly has no shortage of admirers.
According to agent Willie McKay, he has been "inundated with interest", apparently talking to six Premier League clubs, as well as four overseas sides, with Malaga and Paris St Germain reputed to be among them.
But despite professing his "honour" at wearing the Newcastle shirt on Monday in the wake of being told he could leave, it is likely Barton - who claims to have been fined two weeks' wages by Newcastle - will now start the forthcoming campaign at pastures new. Arsenal, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Stoke are reputed to be among the Premier League sides interested in acquiring his services.
With the end of his four-season spell approaching on Tyneside, the midfielder was made to train alone on Tuesday by boss Alan Pardew. Barton described that as "predictable" on his Twitter page, before then leaving the training ground with a large cardboard box tucked under his arm.
Barton even took to quoting George Orwell just before the training session when he wrote: "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act."
Barton then later claimed on the social networking site he had been fined two weeks' wages, although the club have yet to clarify the reason for the punishment.
Barton wrote: "Ha ha the inevitable, 2 weeks wages fine has just arrived. Needless to say it shall be appealed forthwith. #kickingamanwhilsthesdownha."
Prior to that Barton had also further expressed his feelings over local press reports, claiming club officials were making "false statements".
Barton further wrote: "Everyone here knows I speak the truth. I also have too much respect for my teammates and the fans to get in a tit for tat war with them. I have too much self-worth and dignity."