Barton set for new deal?

Joey Barton.

Joey Barton.
Barton to be offered new deal?
There are rumours circulating today suggesting that Newcastle are on the verge of offering Joey Barton a new contract.

Sky Sports ‘understands’ that the club are willing to offer Barton a longer contract which, for a player who only has 18 months left on his current deal, is good news.

Barton has been one of our key players so far this season. Often played in an unfamiliar right wing role, the amount of assists he has for a player playing out of position is exceptional. He has really stepped up his game this season and we are starting to see why we paid Manchester City £5.8 million for his services back in 2007. It’s taken three-and-a-half years mind, but he is proving invaluable this season.

The problem, or at least the perceived problem, with Barton is that he is on one of those large contracts – £67,000 a week if you believe certain reports. This has raised doubts over the willingness of the club to offer a new deal. The player is likely to want the same wage, if not more, whilst the club is wanting to limit the wages on offer.

At the same time though, Barton has proved himself to be instrumental to the team this season. When he plays well, we play well. A high-earner he may be, but at least he is justifying his salary, unlike a Xisco or a Smith for example. Yes I know it is hard to justify that amount of money in the real world, but in football that appears to be the going rate at the moment.

Which brings me on to another point. If Barton is set for a new deal, then surely players like Jose Enrique will also be lined up for new deals?

Jose is in the same boat as Barton with regard to the time left on his contract, and he is also apparently on a decent wedge for his endeavours. Much like Barton, Jose performs to a level which you would expect from a player that is being paid so handsomely. I’m not picking on them, well maybe a little, but it’s a shame that Xisco and Smith don’t follow suit.

I’d like to hope that there is some truth to this. Barton has been a target of transfer speculation this window, but signing a new contract would pretty much end that and would also put a lid on his agent, Willie McKay.

At the end of the day it’s all about value, apparently. But surely securing players who are already earning their large salaries makes sense? It wouldn’t have much of an adverse affect on the budget as the cash is already being paid out to them.

Surely our budget can stretch that little bit further?

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