Joey Barton's agent hits out at Newcastle and says his client could be playing Champions League football this season. Willie McKay: "I was totally surprised when they never offered him (Barton) a contract. "I think it's a wee bit suicidal by Newcastle because how would you let your player of the year leave on a free transfer, approaching his prime. "He had a great season last year and he was, for me, pivotal for the club getting £36million for Andy Carroll because he passed every ball to Andy Carroll, for every goal. "He's a very good player and approaching his prime. I just can't understand what Newcastle are doing. "Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley stood by Joey when he was under real pressure so I'm not going to come out and slag off Newcastle's board but I think they have made a mistake. "He was going to take a drop in wages to sign a new contract. "There will be a lot of takers. Joey would hope to go to a top club and in actual fact a couple of top clubs have been in contact already. "There won't be a problem finding Joey a home. He's a very good player and approaching his prime. I just can't understand what Newcastle are doing. "I think he is capable of playing Champions League. He's a very good player."