Steve Drew/PA Wire/Press Association Images Joey Barton: a beautiful mind.
# U-turn
Pardew hints at Barton reconciliation
We were told he wouldn’t be moved on the issue this morning, but Alan Pardew has struck the first conciliatory note in the ongoing saga of Joey Barton’s disciplinary transfer.

An article appearing in today’s Guardian quotes Newcastle manager Alan Pardew as saying he “never closed the door” on Joey Barton and could see him return to training with the first team at some stage soon.

Barton fell out with Newcastle’s management in dramatic fashion last week after both he and full-back Jose Enrique used their Twitter accounts to criticise the financial management of the club.

While both were subsequently fined two weeks’ wages, only Barton insisted on escalating the conflict, taking to Twitter to criticise his punishment in a series of hysterical messages.

The fall-out from the incident saw Barton immediately placed on the transfer list and allegedly released from the final year of his contract. It was believed that he would be forced to train alone until being sold at some point later in the week.

But with few top clubs willing to declare their interest in Barton and Newcastle seemingly reluctant to sacrifice one of their most valuable assets, both parties have grown closer to agreeing a truce.

Today’s announcement by Pardew comes as the first public indication of an end to hostilities.

“Joey is a great player and you want great players in your team. It’s very important as a football club that you are all pulling in the same direction – at this moment of time where Joey is not pulling in the same direction.

“That’s not to say that can’t change in a short period of time. I’m still reflecting on the situation, as is Joey at this present time, on how best to resolve this issue. I think that is important at the moment.”

Ironically, Barton made his response via Twitter, canvassing his followers for the contact details of nineteenth-century bridge-builder Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

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