Monday 19 March 2018

Pardew - Door not closed to Barton

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew. Photo: PA
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew. Photo: PA

Press Association Sport staff

Manager Alan Pardew has hinted that Joey Barton's Newcastle career may not be over despite this week's Twitter controversy.

Barton has been made available on a free transfer by the Magpies after his recent criticism of the club on the social networking site.

The 28-year-old has since tweeted quotes from the likes of George Washington and George Orwell to underline his displeasure and on Tuesday was forced to train alone.

At that point he looked certain to leave the club this summer, with his agent Willie McKay claiming several clubs had already shown their interest, but a hint of compromise appeared to be struck between the parties today.

Barton was allowed to train with the reserve team this morning before Pardew appeared at a press conference where he declared he would "not close the door" on Barton's time at St James' Park.

"I've never closed the door on anyone and I'm not closing the door on Joey," he said in a press conference shown on Sky Sports News.

"He trained with the development team today and, who knows, he may train with the first-team soon."

Moments later Barton offered further hope of a reconciliation, ironically on his Twitter page, when he made reference to world-renowned bridge builder Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

"Does anybody have Isambard Kingdom Brunel's number?" he wrote.

Pardew is understandably reluctant to allow a player of Barton's stature to simply leave after he was a key figure as the Magpies comfortably remained in the top flight following promotion last term.

The former West Ham boss is hopeful a resolution can be found with the Magpies' home opener against Arsenal - a club linked with Barton - just 10 days away, although he stressed the midfielder would need to show some contrition.

"It's a situation I didn't envisage being in," he added.

"Joey is a great player and you want great players in your team.

"It's very important as a football club that you are all pulling in the same direction - at this moment of time where Joey is not pulling in the same direction.

"That's not to say that can't change in a short period of time.

"I'm still reflecting on the situation, as is Joey at this present time, on how best to resolve this issue.

"I think that is important at the moment."

Pardew believes the situation could have been defused immediately had it not been for Twitter.

"Maybe if it wasn't for Twitter and this instant media it may have got resolved on Monday morning with me and Joey in my office," he added.

"The problem with Twitter - we need to get a hold of this.

"We have got nothing from the Premier League on how to deal with this."

The Magpies boss has even called for the counsel of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson on the subject, as he looks to provide a guideline to direct his players' use of the website.

"I spoke with Sir Alex Ferguson today and he's had this problem with Twitter before," he added.

"You cannot be critical of the club within a personal account. You shouldn't do that on your own account.

"We're now following the guide that Sir Alex has said they have done (at Manchester United).

"I'm not against those sites, and I don't think many managers in the Premier League are, but they have to be careful not to mention the football club."

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