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West Ham And Stoke Try And Scupper Barton Transfer
Published : 24 Aug 2011 17:25:19
West Ham and Stoke City are desperate to hijack Joey Barton's talks with QPR as his future moves closer to being resolved. QPR have made an approach for the 28-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract at St James' Park, and have been told they can talk to the player. But Stoke, who contacted Barton on Monday, have not given up hope of signing the former Man City midfielder ... and we hear the Hammers are willing to meet him during his current trip to London.Barton joined the club for £5.8million from Manchester City in June 2007, and although he said he would "only leave Newcastle for a club challenging in the Champions League", he is looking at other options. The sale of Kevin Nolan to West Ham irked the once-capped England international further, and his comments on the Magpies' efforts to strengthen the squad this summer were not well received in the boardroom.However, Barton, arguably the club's best player last season, has continued to perform on the pitch and has played his part in a stormy 0-0 opening day draw with Arsenal and Saturday's 1-0 victory at Sunderland.Pardew: "He answered my question in terms of his commitment to the club and to the team again on Saturday, and that's what I live and die by."You want top players to perform at their top level for your club when you are a manager, and that's what he did."He won't be involved this Thursday because he has a problem with his feet at the moment which isn't major, but we just need to rest him."But he will be available for Sunday."When asked previously about the likelihood of Barton remaining on Tyneside after the transfer window has closed, Pardew has adopted a "never say never" approach.