Date: 9th January 2009 at 1:20pm
Written by:

Joey Barton, a £5.8 million summer signing in 2007 has had personal problems, and injuries scupper his chances of cementing a place on the Magpies team-sheet. Now, with the club short for cash and ambition, Bolton Wanderers and Portsmouth have come forward with bids to prize the former England man away from Tyneside.

It is understood that Bolton bid £2m, while Portsmouth offered a fee in the region of £3m. But Kinnear has been instructed by owner Mike Ashley that players would only be sold if a profit could be made on their initial fees. The magic number to free Barton off his St. James’ Park shackles has been touted to be £6.5m. But it is unclear whether the interested parties would pay the mentioned fee for the 26-year-old who is still out injured.

Barton’s agent Willie McKay has already confirmed the interest of both clubs, but has reiterated that his client is happy at Newcastle, and that the bids have changed nothing on the player’s end.

“I am not surprised there is interest in Joey Barton,” McKay told skysports.com.

“I believe Bolton made an approach for him which was rejected, while Portsmouth have also made a firm enquiry was turned down.

“Joey is happy at Newcastle until he is told otherwise.

“If Newcastle decide to sell him and accept a bid we will deal with it then.”