Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton begins talks with QPR

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton was in talks with QPR this afternoon as his future moved closer to being resolved.

Press Association Sport understands the London club 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.

Technically, though, they did not need to follow that protocol as Barton was made available for a free transfer earlier this summer after criticising the club's recruitment policy via his Twitter account.

Having been forced to train with the youth team and alone in the aftermath of that incident, Barton started Newcastle's first two games of the Barclays Premier League season after persuading manager Alan Pardew he was fully focused on the task ahead.

He joined the club for £5.8million from Manchester City in June 2007, and had looked close to signing a new deal in January but talks stalled following Andy Carroll's departure for Liverpool.

The contract on the table then has since been withdrawn and the player has been told he will not be offered another.

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 revealed yesterday that Barton would not be involved in tomorrow's Carling Cup second-round trip to Scunthorpe as he recovered from a minor foot problem, but that he expected him to return for Fulham's visit to Tyneside on Sunday.

Pardew said: "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.

QPR are the first club to make their interest known, though, but it remains to be seen whether they can persuade Barton his future lies at Loftus Road, with the player having previously indicated he would see out his current contract on Tyneside.

He has also claimed he would only leave Newcastle for Champions League football, but the lure of QPR owner Tony Fernandes' cash could yet prove decisive.

Rangers boss Neil Warnock is being urged to act swiftly by Fernandes, but insists signing the players he wants is far from easy.

"I'm going to be busy now. I'm doing 12 weeks work in eight days and I'm finding it very, very difficult and tiring," he said.

"I hope we get one in before the weekend just to start the ball rolling.

"It will all be Monday or Tuesday next week. I don't know why it happens like that.

"We are looking to bring in good players. It's easier said than done even if you've got money.

"The chairman is really trying his hardest. I spoke to him last night and he's as excited as I am.

"He wants me to have signed them yesterday. You don't often get a chairman like that. It's usually always about next month."

Barton's departure would further anger Newcastle fans who have taken to him since his emergence from the off-field problems which saw him jailed in May 2008, and would leave Pardew with another significant hole to plug during the remaining week of the transfer window.

It is understood that the next move will come from either QPR or the player himself through his much-publicised Twitter account, with Newcastle and Pardew waiting to see what unfolds.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life