Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has paid tribute to the professionalism of midfielder Joey Barton as speculation continues to surround his future at St James Park, or beyond.
The Magpies boss praised Barton for his recent conduct and approach, saying that despite rumours he will not be offered a new contract when his existing deal expires next summer, in terms of training he has been excellent.
Speaking about the midfielder's future at the club, Pardew said: "You never know – it can be resolved as we go along. That's the position we're in.
"If we get a strong year from him on the playing side and his conduct stays the same, then he's going to have not just us looking to do a contract with him but many other teams as well."
Barton's pre-season preparation took a blow after he was denied a visa that allowed him to go on Newcastle's tour of America, with the club returning on Wednesday July 27, after facing Kansas City, Orlando and Colombus Crew.
Instead Barton is flying out to Holland with the reserves, which is headed up by ex-Newcastle striker Peter Beardsley.
"I think, like a lot of players, that yearly term contracts in the Premier League are going to be the norm," Pardew continued.
"But who is to say that in a year's time that Joey gets a contract that he finds acceptable?
"I am hoping he will play better than last year, I don’t see why he shouldn't. He really had a fantastic season last year."