• Premier League

Barton on West Ham's radar

Harry Harris
December 10, 2010
Joey Barton has been impressive for Newcastle this season © Getty Images

ESPNsoccernet understands Newcastle United would be willing to let Joey Barton go in the transfer window because of his high wages.

West Ham are reported to be keen to sign the player but are only prepared to offer £1.25 million - which is well below Newcastle's valuation of the midfiedler. The gambit could increase to £2 million, but only on condition that Barton, 28, takes a massive drop in his £67,000-a-week salary.

A source close to the negotiations said: "It is clear that Newcastle need to balance their books and offload some players on big wages.

"Asking £5 million is fine, but West Ham won't pay anywhere near that amount, and would want the player to take a big drop in wages before anything can happen in the January transfer window."

It has been suggested that Barton, who has just 18 months left on his contact, would like a five-and-a-half-year deal at Upton Park. West Ham would prefer a three-and-a-half-year contract.

A Hammers insider told ESPNsoccernet: "It's Joey Barton's salary that kills any deal."

The impasse suggests that, if he does move on, east London is unlikely to be his destination and several other Premier League clubs are said to be interested.

Even if a move to West Ham were to be completed, the Hammers remain keen to retain Scott Parker.

Parker, 30, has attracted interest from both Tottenham and Liverpool but his £20 million valuation is almost certain to prove prohibitive. Tottenham, who offered £7 million in the summer, are as yet only willing to up that bid by £1 million.

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