JOEY Barton has been sensationally transfer-listed by Newcastle United.
The club today revealed that Barton has been told he can leave St James’s Park on a free transfer.
A statement read: “Newcastle United can confirm that Joey Barton has been placed on the transfer list today. The player has been advised that he can leave the club on a free transfer.”
Barton yesterday aired his frustrations at the club’s direction on Twitter.
The comments infuriated United’s hierarchy, and dismayed manager Alan Pardew.
The midfielder – who has a year left on the lucrative contract he signed when he joined for £5.8m from Manchester City four years ago – left Elland Road frustrated after Newcastle were beaten 3-2 by Leeds United.
Barton didn’t talk to the waiting media, but later hinted at his greivances on Twitter.
The 28-year-old, like unsettled colleague Jose Enrique, is understood to be frustrated with the club’s transfer policy.
Barton used the social networking site to hint at unrest in the United ranks, and said Enrique’s own controversial Twitter comments, made during the club’s recent U.S. tour, were the “tip of the iceberg”.
In a series of tweets, Barton said: “If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place.
“If it wouldn’t effect team morale and cause unrest within the dressing room, am certain Jose’s comments would be the tip of the iceberg..... And again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club.”
Barton was offered a new deal midway through last season, but after twice coming close to signing, he left the proposed contract unsigned in the wake of Andy Carroll’s £35m sale to Liverpool.
And Barton was told at the end of the campaign that there would be no new offer, despite the efforts of Pardew to broker a compromise.
Meanwhile, the news came as a surprise to Barton’s colleagues, and defender Danny Simpson tweeted that he was “lost for words” after the club’s confirmed he had been transfer-listed.