Goodison Park club will welcome ex-St James’ Park star.
Everton are the favourites to sign Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton after his agent Willie McKay revealed he will not sign another contract with the Toon Army.
The 28-year-old, who has a year to run on his present contract, was unable to agree terms on a new deal.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew wanted to keep the England international but Barton wanted the club to prove they matched his ambitions.
Huyton-born Barton, who has scored eight goals in 82 appearances for the Magpies, would welcome a return to Merseyside and Everton are now favourites to sign him.
Toffes’ manager David Moyes will now weigh up a move for as little as £3million or wait 12 months and get his man on a free.
McKay expects Barton to still be at Newcastle next season and says his player is sad to be leaving.
“Joey will continue to be a Newcastle player next season and then he will leave on a free transfer at the end of his contract,” McKay told Sky Sports.
“Joey would have loved to have extended his stay at Newcastle, but unfortunately it is not to be.
“Joey has loved his time at Newcastle and nothing will change his commitment for the club next season.
“Obviously we will be monitoring the situation next January to try and find a new club for Joey as he can speak to clubs from abroad in January.”