Anfield boss Kenny Dalglish plans another St James’ Park raid.
Liverpool are keeping tabs on Joey Barton’s contract situation at Newcastle, skysports.com understands.
Barton’s future at Newcastle has been the subject of speculation with the midfielder yet to agree a new deal at St James’ Park.
The news has alerted a number of clubs to Barton’s possible availability with both Aston Villa and West Ham credited with an interest in the former Manchester City man in the January transfer window.
Now Liverpool are believed to be tracking Barton following his superb season for Newcastle this term.
With Barton entering the final 12 months of his contract at Newcastle this summer, the midfielder would be an attractive proposition for Liverpool as he could be available for a cut-price fee.
The 28-year-old has been Newcastle’s standout performer this season on their return to the Premier League and he is widely expected to scoop the club’s Player of the Season award.
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is thought to be drawing up his list of transfer targets and Barton could figure on it due to his success in linking up with Reds striker Andy Carroll while the pair were together at Newcastle.
Barton was the provider of eight of Carroll’s goals at Newcastle this season prior to his move to Anfield in January and Dalglish could look to reunite the pair as he tries to get the best out of his £35million signing next season.
SOURCE: Sky Sports
Alan Pardew is trying his hardest to keep Newcastle United’s top talent from following Andy Carroll out the door with the likes of Jose Enrique, Jonas Gutierrez and even Kevin Nolan being linked with moves away from St James’ Park so news that Joey Barton is now a Liverpool target will be treated with concern.
The troubled midfielder has been in excellent form this season and has helped to correct a reputation that was in danger of leading the former Man City man to remembered chiefly for his off field antics. The 28 year old is apparently an £8m target of Kenny Dalglish who appears to be wanting to add more creativity to his midfield.
The vast improvement shown by the likes of Lucas, Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles in recent months have helped to push the Merseyside club back up the table and the good form shown by Luis Suarez has helped to deliver an end product up front but now Dalglish wants to add playmaker Barton into the mix.
There appears to be a concern among Newcastle United players and supporters that owner Mike Ashley will not be putting his hands in his pockets this summer to help boost a fairly small squad. Alan Pardew is hoping that he will be handed a decent chunk of the £35m made from the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool.
The sale of the England international left the North-East club having to cope with the fairly limited abilities of Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi, Shefki Kuqi and Leon Best up front and to be fair to that hard working quartet, none of these strikers are prolific.
Merseyside born Barton would be something of a controversial signing, not least because he is still well remembered for his horror tackle on Liverpool hero Xabi Alonso a couple of seasons ago.