West Ham will attempt to lure Newcastle United’s Joey Barton to London in the summer, reports the Northern Echo. The controversial midfielder has just 15 months left on his current deal at St James Park and is yet to agree new terms with the Magpies. Having seen Andy carroll depart to Liverpool for £35m in January, Newcastle are desperate not to lose any more of their key players and are keen for Barton to commit his long-term future to the club. While Alan Pardew’s men are well-stocked for midfielders – with Kevin Nolan Cheik Tiote, Danny Guthrie, Dan Gosling and Stephen Ireland all vying for places – Barton has the guile that sets him apart from his rivals. West Ham are currently involved in a relegation scrap but their recent run of results that sees them unbeaten in four matches suggests they will be successful. Part of that is down to the return from injury of some influential players such as Thomas Hitzlsperger but also due to some canny manoeuvrings in the January transfer window that saw the impressive Demba Ba – who already has four goals in his five appearances to date – arrive from Hoffenheim and Gary O’Neil join from Middlesbrough.
Clearly any move to bring Joey Barton to Upton Park will only occur if Avram Grant keeps the East London side above the drop zone, which on current form is distinctly possible. The 28 year old Newcastle United man is apparently considering his options and has been linked with interest from a number of Premier League sides as well as from Bundesliga side Hamburg.
Barton has of course has his fair share of both off and on field problems but is in a good run of form this season and Alan Pardew won’t want to lose the England hopeful but it seems that as with other Magpies stars, there is some reticence to commit to the club until they some signs of re-investment of the Andy Carroll cash in the summer.
Avram Grant could well do with an injection of creativity to a midfield that has it’s fair share of battlers but perhaps lacks some flair and forward thinking, abilities that on his day Joey Barton has in bucket-loads. Currently West Ham have the likes of Scott Parker and Mark Noble doing the donkey work and moving the ball forwards but the addition of the former Man City man could help link midfield and attack.