Barton on brink of QPR move

Barton travelled to London on Wednesday for talks after the Loftus

Road club was given permission to speak to the 28-year-old, still

available on a free transfer after falling out with the Newcastle

hierarchy earlier this summer. The midfielder continues to state he

wishes to remain at Newcastle, but with only one year left on his

contract and no new deal forthcoming, he believes he is being

forced out. “Going for a medical now, still no contract offer from

NUFC…….think that just about makes my mind up,” Barton wrote on

his Twitter account. “Don’t want to leave Newcastle……..I’ve

made that clear but my hands are tied.” Barton has played a key

role in United’s first two games of the season despite effectively

being a free agent after being told he could leave the club for

nothing following an outburst against their transfer policies on

Twitter. Despite being relegation favourites following their

promotion in May, last week’s takeover by tycoon Tony Fernandes has

given the Hoops a fresh impetus and appeal and Barton could buy

into it. He could, though, stick to his previous claims he would

only leave Newcastle for Champions League football. It is

understood the next move in the saga will come from QPR or Barton

via his much-publicised Twitter account, with Newcastle and manager

Alan Pardew waiting to see what unfolds. Pardew was never going to

pick Barton at Scunthorpe anyway, with a minor foot problem set to

keep him out of action until Sunday’s clash with Fulham – a game he

may now miss anyway. On the field, Pardew and his players have

enjoyed a fine start to the Premier League campaign, holding

Arsenal to a draw on opening weekend and then leaving the Stadium

of Light, the home of arch rivals Sunderland, with a 1-0 victory

safely tucked under their belts last Saturday. However, Ryan

Taylor’s fine free-kick on Wearside remains their only goal to

date, and while they have kept two clean sheets in the process,

Pardew is keen to add a greater attacking threat to dogged defence

– starting tonight. He said: “We pride ourselves on some of the

defensive work we do here. Last year when I was here, we were

really tight and I was pleased with that. “But of course, it’s only

a platform to attack and the attacking side of our game needs to

improve. We need to threaten the goal more than we have in the last

two Premier League games. “But our defensive display has been very,

very good and hopefully we will take that to Scunthorpe.”