Reports are circulating that Joey Barton is planning on staying at Newcastle next season, despite telling the media that he is considering other options in preparation for the summer transfer period.
“Joey wants to stay at Newcastle because he is happy here,” a source close to Barton told the Chronicle.
“He may be opinionated at times, but he hasn’t forgotten what Newcastle did for him during his time at the club, and he’s got a lot of respect for all of the staff there, from the manager down.
“There has been talk that he was ready to quit the club, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Barton recently told reporters he was considering moving to another club, if Newcastle didn’t keep teammates Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote and Jose Enrique.
"I told them [the board] I might stay this summer because we have some good players and money to spend,” Barton recently said.
“But I'm going to wait and see if players like Nolan, Tiote and Enrique stay.
"If Nolan signs a new deal, I will as well. But I hope the club step things up. I want to be ambitious and I think the club share that desire."
But the Chronicle’s sources believe that Barton will concentrate on staying with Newcastle, where he is reportedly hoping to see his career out.
“His main priority is to stay here – and always has been,” sources said.
“Joey has got a great rapport with the Newcastle fans who obviously appreciate his efforts on the pitch, and he wants that relationship to continue.”