We reported last week that Kevin Nolan was trying to coax Joey Barton to West Ham ... and six days later the national newspapers have caught on. Kevin Nolan (above) Nolan left Newcastle earlier in the summer for a reunion with Sam Allardyce at West Ham after suggesting broken promises were behind his decision to drop down to the Championship. Fellow midfielder Barton's future at St James' Park is also uncertain after he was recently placed on the transfer list and told he could leave on a free transfer. Barton could yet stay on Tyneside when the transfer window closes, even though Toon owner Mike Ashley wants him out of the club, because he says: "I have a contract and I decide whether I stay or go, no-one else." He has been linked with several clubs ... and we (NU-Mad) can confirm Stoke City have made an approach direct to the player. Nolan (talking to the Daily Mirror): "I came here so I can't see why Joey Barton wouldn't come here. "He's probably looking for an escape the way he's been treated. He knows I'm here, he knows Sam's here and what we are about. "I can look after him and he can look after me."