ALAN Pardew would welcome Joey Barton back into the Newcastle United fold if his proposed move to Queens Park Rangers breaks down.
Barton this week held talks and underwent a medical at the Loftus Road club.
But the midfielder yesterday used social networking site Twitter to reveal he needed some “thinking time and space” before making a final decision on his future.
The 28-year-old – who has been offered a four-year deal by QPR – previously planned to see out the final year of his deal at St James’s Park.
And Pardew’s hopeful Barton – who missed last night’s Carling Cup tie at Scunthorpe United with badly blistered feet – will choose to remain a Newcastle player after considering QPR’s offer.
“At the moment, Joey’s thinking long and hard about his future,” Pardew said.
“He knows he can come back here and it’s a good environment.
“He might want to try to stay here and improve the club’s situation.
“He’s an important player for us, and has a role to play.”
SEE Friday’s Mail for full story