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EXCLUSIVE: West Ham back in for Barton

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EXCLUSIVE: West Ham back in for Barton

Post  1892NUFF on Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:01 am

West Ham are set to reignite their interest in Joey Barton.

The East Londoners are monitoring the situation regarding the controversial midfielder, who has yet to sign a new contract at Newcastle.

The Championship side discussed a move for Barton earlier this month, when the Magpies first made it clear earlier that they had made him available on a free transfer.

At the time, the Hammers' interest in the player is said to have been described as “lukewarm”.

Now, however, they are waiting to see if a club in the Premier League's top four moves for Barton, or whether he would be up for the challenge of dropping down a division again.

A move to Upton Park would see his midfielder reunited with his former Newcastle team-mate Kevin Nolan and Sam Allardyce, the manager who brought him to the Toon from Manchester City.

In West Ham’s eyes, Barton’s considerable baggage is offset by his ability and the success of his relationship with Nolan, which helped Newcastle gain promotion from the Championship two seasons ago.

When Nolan - on a four-year deal worth £55,000-a-week - was sold by the Geordies, Barton tweeted: “’Great player, leader, captain, person, trainer and mostly a friend for life.”

Barton has big fans within the boardroom at Upton Park, but would have to accept a massive cut in wages currently said to be in the region of £80,000-a-week.

The star has a house in Newmarket, a Suffolk town that is less than an hour's drive from the Hammers’ training ground.

But any West Ham move for him could hinge on whether Scott Parker remains at the club.

Stoke, Aston Villa, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been linked with England midfielder Parker, last season's Footballer of the Year.

But no club has yet matched West Ham's £8million valuation of a player who has three years left on his current contract.


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