Pardew sitting tight as Barton bid fails

11 December 2010 09:46
NEW Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will not rush into selling any of his squad after Newcastle reportedly rejected an approach from West Ham for Joey Barton.

At his first press conference on Thursday, Pardew made it clear he needs time to examine his playing staff before making decisions.

Pardew also revealed he has had assurances that star striker Andy Carroll is not for sale and it is likely he will not want to lose Barton either.

The Merseyside-born midfielder is likely to return to the Magpies' squad for this evening's clash with Liverpool after completing his three-match ban for punching Blackburn Rovers' midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Barton's fine form this season had led to calls for a return to the England set-up.

Given the 28-year-old's form, it is little surprise he has attracted the attention of Avram Grant, with the Hammers looking to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the Magpies.

The Upton Park outfit see the former Manchester City man as the perfect partner for Scott Parker in central midfield and could test Newcastle's resolve with an improved bid as the player has just 18 months left on his contract.

Owner Mike Ashley had previously told Chris Hughton there would be no funds to strengthen his squad in January but it is difficult to see why Pardew would have agreed a contract with no money to spend.

The new boss insists he will bang on the owner's door in an attempt to bring in new players but he might have to sell before he can buy.

Should West Ham come back with a better offer, it will be interesting to see how Ashley reacts.

In the meantime, Barton's agent, Willie McKay, insists the player in committed to the Magpies unless they decide to listen to offers for his services.

I have had five or six phone calls from teams asking about Joey's availability. But he is enjoying his football again and he is committed to Newcastle unless he is told otherwise.

Source: Northern_Echo