Newcastle will be without Joey Barton for part of their pre-season preparations as he has been prevented from travelling to the USA with the rest of the first team squad. The controversial midfielder has been denied a visa from the US embassy due to his previous convictions. He will now travel with the club’s reserve team instead on their tour of Holland. Another player to be denied access to the States is out-of-favour striker Nile Ranger who has a previous conviction for robbery.
Barton reacted to the news by issuing a statement that read: “Unfortunately,
It appears that Barton still carries the support of his manager who will give him the captaincy for the Magpies’ opening pre-season game. Alan Pardew’s side kick-off their new campaign with a friendly against Darlington on Friday night. Although Fabricio Coloccini has been handed the captain’s armband on a permanent basis the Argentine will not feature against the Quakers. New signing Sylvain Marveaux and midfielder Cheik Tiote are also unlikely to play in the friendly. However the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba could make their first appearances for the Magpies.
With little progress being made in the recruitment of new faces it appears the Magpies have turned their attention towards removing any unwanted players from their current squad. Both Nile Ranger and Wayne Routledge have been strongly linked with moves away from the north east in the past few days. The duo is not thought to be in manager Alan Pardew’s plans for the future and both players are free to go at the right price, although it could be argued that Newcastle can ill afford to lose any more from a squad already short on numbers.
The 20-year-old Ranger has been told he can leave this summer despite making a number of appearances last season. It appears Pardew has lost patience with the young striker’s lifestyle and attitude away from the field of play. Blackpool has already held talks with Ranger but the move looks to have broken down over personal terms. West Ham has also been linked with a transfer that would see Ranger reunited with former teammate Kevin Nolan. The move may appeal to the striker who is originally from the capital. It did appear that Ranger had a promising future on Tyneside, especially under former manager Chris Hughton, but Pardew has given him very few starts and rather than going out on loan he could be set for a permanent departure.
Winger Wayne Routledge also looks set to leave with a number of clubs interested in the former Crystal Palace and Tottenham player. The 26-year-old spent half of the last campaign on loan with QPR but no agreement was reached to make the move permanent. The likes of Swansea City, Cardiff, Leicester and Birmingham City have all been credited with an interest in the pacey midfielder.
One player who Newcastle will be loath to lose is midfield powerhouse Cheik Tiote. The African has recently been linked with Chelsea who is keen for another midfielder following Michael Essien’s long-term injury. The Magpies issued a statement on their official Twitter feed saying: “The club can confirm that they have received no enquiries for Cheik Tiote, contrary to some media reports.” Tiote is currently tied down to a long-term contract so it would take a large sum of money to tempt Newcastle into selling one of their prized assets.