Tottenham and Celtic lead the Barton chase
Published 23:01 03/08/11 By Alan Nixon
Joey Barton is in danger of pricing himself out of a move from Newcastle - with Tottenham and Celtic looking to take him on LOAN rather than on a three-year deal.
Barton was at the centre of massive toing-and-froing yesterday as Spurs and Scottish giants Celtic emerged as the leading contenders although both are reluctant to pay him £70,000-a-week for three seasons.
The midfield maverick may now have to get a pay-off from the Toon to make a free transfer move possible - or even head for White Hart Lane or Celtic Park on a ‘sponsored’ loan, with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley chipping in for his wages.
Barton also hinted he would stick out the final year of his contract on Tyneside, despite his all-out war with the club's heirarchy in the past few days.
He again used his Twitter account to take swipes at the club.
“Just because ur [sic] told to jump, it does not necessarily mean u have to. I may choose to stand perfectly still. It’s my right...just a thought,” he posted.
He then went from quoting George Orwell yesterday to sharing a line from first American president George Washington.
“Quote of the day: If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington,” he tweeted.
Barton also offered a song of the day, What Will You Do (When the Money Goes)? by indie rock band Milburn.
Both Spurs and Celtic negotiators are reeling at the £11million cost of taking him on permanently.
Spurs are keen on Barton - despite official denials - but are unsure about giving him the contract he wants, for various reasons.
Celtic would need to sell South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-Yong to finance the move - and even then it would swallow up all of those funds.
Barton went to see a horse he owns run at Kempton races last night as the queue for his signature changed by the hour, while several agents trying to get involved to broker moves.
The unpredictable star is also considering a move abroad, but would ideally sign for an English club in the Champions League.
Staying at Newcastle is still a possibility, too.