Joey Barton would leave Newcastle for Champions League

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The Independent Football

Joey Barton says only the lure of Champions League football could tempt him away from Newcastle this summer.

The 28-year-old midfielder is still coming to terms with not being offered a contract extension at St James' Park, as well as the impending departure of skipper Kevin Nolan for West Ham.

However, Barton, who as it stands would leave the Magpies on a free transfer next summer unless he is sold either during the current window or in January, has repeatedly spoken of his determination to remain on Tyneside for the next 12 months.

He told talkSPORT: "I've had a number of phone calls, bits of interest and people making enquiries, 'Would you go here? Would you do this? Would you do that?', because that's the nature of the game, that's the nature of the beast.

"I don't want to leave the football club. My family is settled in the area, I love living in Newcastle.

"I have got a great working relationship with everyone at the football club, and that's from playing staff to coaching staff to people who work in the training ground to catering staff, everyone.

"I love being at the club and I've got no ambition to leave.

"If someone came in, for instance, hypothetically and offered me Champion's League football, then whether I had signed a five, six, seven-year deal at Newcastle, I'd have to consider it.

"But that's not the case at the minute and as far as I'm concerned, unless someone comes in and can offer me the opportunity to play at the next level, which is obviously the Champions League, then for me it's a no-brainer.

"I won't be leaving the football club and I'm looking forward to going back pre-season.

"Hopefully I go back and there are a lot of talented individuals there who can help me get the most out of myself and I can help them get the most out of themselves."

Manager Alan Pardew has already signed French midfielder Yohan Cabaye, and is closing in on West Ham striker Demba Ba and Swansea full-back Neil Taylor, while a series of other targets are firmly in his sights.

Barton fully expects to join the newcomers when the players return for pre-season training next month, and he revealed his decision to reject a contract offer in January had nothing to do with money.

He said: "I am 28 years of age and I think it's an important contract for me. My partner has just found out she is pregnant with our first child, so I need a little bit of stability, I need to be in this area for four years.

"I was after a little bit of stability. The money side of the situation was never an issue for me. I was keen to stay in Newcastle, keen to stay in the area.

"We never reached a compromise on that, unfortunately, and it became quite frustrating in the end.

"I was quite surprised, quite taken aback by it, but I was quite realistic.

"Look, this is football. I believe in the ability I have and I believe in the man that I am.

"If that's the case, if Newcastle United don't think I'm going to play past the age of 29, then more fool them.

"If I have to go and ply my trade elsewhere, then I'm more than confident of being able to do that for the next six, seven years.

"Nothing would mean more to me than to do it at Newcastle United, but if that's not the case, then that's not the case."

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