JOEY Barton is adamant he won’t be forced out of Newcastle United this summer – despite interest from clubs across Europe.
Barton, right, was told last month he won’t be offered a new deal at St James’s Park.
While there could be pressure on manager Alan Pardew to cash in on the 28-year-old, Barton is still minded to resist any attempts to sell him and see out the last year of his contract.
“Joey’s only interested in one thing – remaining at Newcastle United,” said a source close to Barton. “That’s unlikely to change.”
Newcastle’s controversial decision not to put a new contract to the midfielder last month, which angered many fans given his form on the field last season, alerted a number of clubs at home and abroad.
German side Hamburg are said to be keen on Barton, while there is also interest in France.
However, Barton hasn’t changed his mind and intends to report back for pre-season training on July 4, ready for his fifth, and possibly last, campaign at United.
Barton – who rejected a new deal back in January in the wake of Andy Carroll’s sale – would then be able to leave the club on a free transfer.
Manager Alan Pardew – whose captain Kevin Nolan has rejected a two-year contract exntension at Newcastle – insisted late last night he would be happy for Barton to see out the last year of his deal.
Pardew, meanwhile, will see if a resolution can be found for Nolan’s contract dispute when he returns from holiday.
Nolan was unhappy with the terms on offer from United.
H NEWCASTLE United have offered a new deal to highly-rated midfielder Michael Richardson.
Richardson, signed last summer from non-league Walker Central, impressed at reserve level in his first season at St James’s Park.
The 19-year-old – who had been working as an electrician – was named on the bench for a number of Premier League games, and manager Alan Pardew and his staff have high hopes for the skillful player.
Richardson’s midfield colleague Ryan Donaldson, 20, has also been offered a new contract at St James’s Park.
Donaldson, a former England Under-19 international, had a spell on loan in League One with Mick Wadsworth’s Hartlepool United last season.