Pardew claims Barton has a future with Newcastle
NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew last night offered an olive branch to Joey Barton, and claimed both he and his club's rulers were ready to repair their relationship with the miscreant midfielder. Barton trained with the Magpies' youth team yesterday, and will not be involved in tomorrow's final pre-season friendly against Fiorentina, but Pardew nevertheless sounded a conciliatory note when he spoke for the first time in public since Sunday's unsavoury scenes at Elland Road. The Magpies manager was unhappy with Barton's conduct after the friendly defeat at Leeds, and was even more upset at the midfielder's decision to vent his fury on Twitter, but insists subsequent events have spiralled out of control. Barton remains on the transfer list, but Pardew insists there is still a chance he could see out the final year of his current contract as a Newcastle player. The door is not closed on Joey, he said. Everybody was very angry this week and there were decisions on both sides that were made with that anger in mind and still at the surface.I've spoken to Joey on three occasions, and perhaps this could all have been avoided if me and Joey had been able to have a normal manager-player chat. What happened on Sunday will stay in the dressing room, that's how football clubs should work. But I felt Joey wasn't pulling with the team and that's unusual for him. It was compounded by what then happened with Twitter. I wanted to make it clear to him that he's got to pull with us if he's going to stay here in his final year. That's where we are really. At the moment we're in a period of reflection. Joey will dictate (what happens) because he has a contract here for another year and he will decide. But if he wants to stay here, then he has to pull in the same direction. In many ways, Pardew now finds himself as the mediator in a stand off between Barton, who is still smarting from what he perceives to be the withdrawal of a contract offer in May, and Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias, who were incensed by the midfielder's online criticism of their conduct. Barton's state of mind is difficult to judge - yesterday's Twitter comments referred to bridge builder Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but also quoted Travis' Why Does It Always Rain On Me - but having previously harboured ambitions of moving to a Champions League club, it is clear that any interest to this point has come from clubs lower down the footballing spectrum. The 28-year-old could opt to swallow his pride and remain on Tyneside, with Pardew willing to support such a decision. However, it remains to be seen whether Ashley and Llambias would tolerate such a controversial figure returning to the first team. In the past, they have been extremely reluctant to back down on anything, so to enact so public a climbdown now would appear to go against the grain. I don't think the situation with Joey (and the club's rulers) is entrenched, said Pardew, who issued Newcastle's players with legal letters yesterday effectively banning them from discussing anything football-related on Twitter. The decision here will be involving the owners for sure, because there's a lot of history gone on, and I am somewhere in the middle of it. In the middle, rather than on the periphery. A number of supporters have questioned Pardew's ability to influence any key decisions in recent days, but the United boss denies he is merely a mouthpiece for those above him. I was involved in the Kevin Nolan situation and didn't think we could agree to the length of the contract, he said. With Andy Carroll, we had a conversation between all of us and decided to take the action we did. When it comes to Joey, I think it's fairly evident that what happened on Sunday, I was a part of it. Indeed, Pardew intends to exert his influence in order to speed up Newcastle's pursuit of their transfer targets in the next few days. The Magpies have made contact with Bayer Leverkusen about winger Tranquillo Barnetta, although Pardew has questioned the validity of Barry McIntosh, who claims to be the Swiss international's British-based representative. McIntosh claimed Newcastle had offered Barnetta £40,000-a-week, and described the figure as derisory yesterday afternoon. None of my people here have ever spoken to that agent, said Pardew. For anybody to say that £40,000-a-week is a derisory offer - anybody in the street must find that absolutely astonishing. I don't even know what he's talking about. It's total fabrication, although it's fair to say that there is some interest in the player. We've made an inquiry about a (different) player this week who we thought we had a chance of getting, but we were told that he wasn't for sale. But we need to bring more in. The problem I've got with the group at the moment is that they want to see one or two players coming through the door. They do, the fans do and I want that to happen - I'm making it very, very clear to Derek and Mike that we need one or two boys in this door, now. Now. That's where I am. Jose Enrique still looks like heading through the exit door, but with Liverpool still to table a formal offer, the full-back will play in tomorrow's game. We've had no bids for Jose. No bids, said Pardew. As far as I'm concerned, he'll play on Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing him play. I love him as a player and hope he plays all season.
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