Belfast Telegraph

QPR make Barton move

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has been given permission to speak to QPR.

It is understood the London club have made an approach for the 28-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract at St James' Park, and have been told they can talk to the player.

Barton was made available for a free transfer earlier this summer after criticising the club's recruitment policy via his Twitter account.

Barton has started Newcastle's first two games of the Barclays Premier League season after persuading manager Alan Pardew he was fully focused on the task ahead.

He joined the club for £5.8million from Manchester City in June 2007, and had looked close to signing a new deal in January but talks stalled following Andy Carroll's departure for Liverpool.

The contract on the table then has since been withdrawn and the player has been told he will not be offered another.

The sale of Kevin Nolan to West Ham irked the once-capped England international further, and his comments on the Magpies' efforts to strengthen the squad this summer were not well received in the boardroom.

However, Barton, arguably the club's best player last season, has continued to perform on the pitch and has played his part in a stormy 0-0 opening day draw with Arsenal and Saturday's 1-0 victory at Sunderland.

Pardew revealed on Tuesday that Barton would not be involved in Thursday's Carling Cup second-round trip to Scunthorpe as he recovered from a minor foot problem, but that he expected him to return for Fulham's visit to Tyneside on Sunday.

It remains to be seen whether QPR can persuade Barton his future lies at Loftus Road, with the player having previously indicated he would see out his current contract on Tyneside.

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