Sunday 23 October 2016

Joey Barton close to West Ham deal despite David Gold saying he 'should seek help'

Published 10/08/2015 | 16:03

Free agent Joey Barton could be on his way to West Ham
Free agent Joey Barton could be on his way to West Ham

West Ham are considering a move for free agent Joey Barton despite reservations from co-chairman David Gold.

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Any potential deal may come as something of a surprise given Gold's comments from January 2013, when he took to Twitter to claim that Barton 'has a problem and should seek help'.

Gold, answering questions from fans on Barton, who was at the time embroiled in an online spat with former Liverpool midfielder Didier Hamman, also said that if then West Ham manager Sam Allardyce had wanted to sign Barton, Gold would 'give him some time off'.

The controversial midfielder has been without a club since the end of last season, with Queens Park Rangers opting against renewing his contract.

Although it seems a deal is on the cards, reports on Monday that Barton was having a medical at Upton Park were in fact inaccurate, as confirmed by Jack Sullivan, son of West Ham's other chairman David Sullivan.

Barton had attracted attention over the weekend by saying "the best player might be sitting in the stands this afternoon, even if I do say so myself," whilst commenting on Aston Villa's wn over Bournemouth for BBC Radio 5 Live.

The former Newcastle, Manchester City and Marseille midfielder added, "judging by this game today, it won't be long before I'll be getting a phone call from somebody," before hinting that a deal was imminent.

"I'm close to agreeing something with somebody, hopefully that can be sorted out in the next week."

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