Agent: Joey attracting interest
Willie McKay headed to Tyneside on Wednesday morning to re-open contract talks for the 28-year-old, but after a brief meeting with managing director Derek Llambias and club secretary Lee Charnley, left with no deal even on the table. The news, which means next season will be Barton's last on Tyneside unless there is a radical shift in the club's current stance, has come as a major shock to fans. It remains to be seen whether or not the Magpies will now attempt to cash in on their £5.8million signing this summer, or allow him to leave for free in a year's time when his existing deal expires. McKay told BBC Radio Newcastle: "I have had a few calls from other clubs because of the news - everybody knows about the situation at the moment. "I have had a few managers on asking what the situation is with Joey, but only if a top club [came in], I think he would move on. "He has set his mind up to stay at Newcastle next season because he loves it up there, he's settled and he's playing very, very well. "Hopefully he can break into the England team at some stage." Asked if there was any possibility of a resolution of the deadlock, McKay replied: "The only reason Joey will stay at Newcastle [beyond next season], I think, is if there are new owners, to be perfectly honest. "Obviously, they [Newcastle] are in a situation where they will be looking for somebody to come in for Joey and offer him a contract, but at the end of the day, it might not be the right club. "Joey is quite strong-minded and I think he will stay at Newcastle for next season. "At the end of the day, Joey likes it at Newcastle and he will probably just run his contract out. "Obviously, we need to look for something for Joey in January, and that's where we are." McKay confirmed that Barton was looking for a four-year deal, but was prepared to take a pay-cut, although the two parties were unable to reach agreement on that basis in January. He said: "He wanted a four-year contract which would see him right through his best years. "He was happy to take a four-year deal and less money." Barton, of course, has endured a chequered spell at St James' Park which at one point saw him jailed. However, he has made the most of the chance his employers gave him on his release and was one of the club's key players last season. McKay said: "I must say that, to be fair to Newcastle and the current Board, they stuck by Joey. I think he repaid them last season - I think he had a great season. "But they stuck by him, there's no doubt about that, Derek Llambias especially." Outspoken at times, the former Manchester City midfielder has repeatedly expressed his affection for the club, and he has indicated on more than one occasion that he would be happy to extend his stay. However, that has always been accompanied by the caveat that the club must match his ambition, with skipper Kevin Nolan and full-back Jose Enrique yet to commit themselves to new contracts and the Spaniard seemingly unlikely to do so. Manager Alan Pardew may still retain hopes that a solution can be found as he prepares to dip into the summer transfer market to strengthen a squad which he believes needs greater quality and depth if it is to prosper in the top flight. Reports on Wednesday suggested Pardew has made an improved £10million offer for Lorient striker Kevin Gameiro and stepped up his interest in Lille's Gervinho, although sources on Tyneside have played down the speculation. Meanwhile, the Magpies on Wednesday confirmed that 36-year-old former England defender Sol Campbell and stop-gap striker Shefki Kuqi have both left the club. Summer signing Campbell made just eight appearances while Kuqi, who arrived in the wake of Carroll's exit, managed six, all of them as a substitute.