Barton won't drop into Champ
ewcastle midfielder Joey Barton has dismissed speculation suggesting he could leave the Magpies for a Championship club. The midfielder is entering the final 12 months of his contract at St James' Park after talks over a new deal broke down. Unless negotiations over an extension resume, Barton could either see out the next year before leaving Tyneside on a free transfer next summer, or leave during the current transfer window if Newcastle decide they want to cash in. He has been linked with a move to relegated West Ham, where he would be reunited with former team-mate Kevin Nolan and manager Sam Allardyce, who brought Barton to Newcastle in 2007. However, the 28-year-old maintains that he has no interest in playing for a second-tier club as he wants to test himself against the best in the business. "Contract negotiations not re-opened. Back to NUFC on Tuesday, Happy days," Barton wrote on Twitter. He added: "Why would I drop down a league when I can more than hold my own in the Premiership? "What benefit would it give me? None. "I play this game to play against the best week in, week out."
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