Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Back in for Barton?

Today's Mirror claims that Fat Sam is working on a deal to bring Joey Barton to St James' Park, but also suggests Captain Scott could well be on his way out, with a move to West Ham in the offing.

At £5.5m, the price stipulated in his contract, Barton would I think present very good value for money - in footballing terms, at least. Even though our midfield is still potentially very strong, we would benefit from the extra goals and drive from the middle of the park that Barton would bring to the side.

But, having shipped out some of the biggest troublemakers of a couple of years ago, most notably Craig Bellamy and Lee Bowyer, it's debatable whether we should really make a move for a player whose antics are more suited to Bobby's Borstal Boys. Do we want someone who will attack team-mates on the training pitch and at club functions, who will bare his arse to opposition fans and who, in voicing his opinions, clearly regards himself as bigger than the club he plays for?

It would be a shame if Parker were to be sold to finance the deal, but it's a distinct possibility, West Ham's interest our skipper plausible given the presence of Alan Curbishley as manager and the news that Nigel Reo-Coker will be moving on. Last term Parker never quite hit the heights of his first season on Tyneside, and if we can get a direct replacement in the form of Barton for significantly less than West Ham offer, then it will be looked at in many quarters as a good deal for the club.

All that said, of course, transfer activity at Eastlands could be suspended until a new owner and manager are in place - and the Mirror piece is completely quote-free and so should come with the important caveat that it could all be nonsense...


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