Joey Barton, the often quarrelsome, always controversial midfielder has a cluster of clubs hovering over his potential sale, stemming from his most recent troubles at Newcastle. Available for free, early rumblings have begun surfacing this morning that Everton have been priced out of the bartering process due to his high wage demands, although David Moyes' side still remain favourites with bookmakers.
After frequently spouting his feelings about a flawed hierarchy at Newcastle, all through the social media of Twitter, (see @Joey7Barton) Newcastle seem to have run out of patience with their midfielder who has previously spent time in jail during his turbulent years on Tyneside.
Despite obvious reasons to be cautious around the unruly, occasionally cantankerous Barton, his displays on the pitch have recently been of a very high calibre. Whilst generally amicable and congruous, Everton's own squad seem to have plateaued somewhat. No acquisitions in two years, apart from Jermaine Beckford, leaves a squad in desperate need of some fresh impetus.
With the capital at Goodison Park at an all time low, David Moyes has been unable to offload enough of his fringe players to be able to buy. He is now left scouring the loan and free-agent markets, already meticulously plucked by other clubs throughout the summer.
However, this rapidly changing scenario at Newcastle presents Moyes and Everton with the sudden prospect of a high quality, cheap signing, certain to improve the surroundings at Everton. Barton would penetrate the first eleven, create increased competition for places, and provide a boost to an ailing club where the top players must be starting to question the side’s current predicament and future aims.