Joey Barton's agent Willie McKay said today that his client had not been offered a new deal by Newcastle United, casting some doubt on his future with the club. (The Chronicle) Barton, whose in-form season have led many to label him the Magpies' Player of the Year, has been making hints in the media about wanting to stay, while other reports had team captain Kevin Nolan begging him not to leave. The announcement comes as a shock to many who believed the negotiations were going well.
UPDATE (8:20 AM CDT): Lee Ryder just tweeted that Barton had in fact been offered a "lucrative" contract that he turned down. This story isn't over yet.
It's important to remember that the two sides are in fact negotiating and that it's not unusual for one side or another to try to gain leverage by leaking these bits of info to the press. In fact, this is a well-worn page in Willie McKay's playbook, so there's really no reason to panic at all...at least not yet.
Meanwhile, Alan Pardew confirmed that the club is moving on without Sol Campbell and Shefki Kuqi. (The Chronicle) Campbell seemingly never recovered from his honeymoon that forced him to report late and out of shape, while Kuqi was brought in on a free transfer to provide depth at striker, but never played more than a handful of minutes in any given game.