Joey Barton: Notts County boss Kevin Nolan keen to sign ex-Newcastle team-mate

Joey Barton
Joey Barton made one appearance for England in 2007

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan wants to sign former Newcastle team-mate Joey Barton in the summer.

Midfielder Barton, 35, was suspended by the Football Association in April 2017 for breaching betting rules and is banned until 1 June.

"Me and Joey are good friends," Nolan told BBC Radio Nottingham. "He is a top player, a top lad and I really get on well with him.

"We will always be in touch so let's see what happens."

Nolan, who played with Barton for two and a half years at Newcastle from January 2009, expects several clubs to be interested in the former Manchester City, QPR, Marseille, Rangers and Burnley player.

The Magpies are fifth in League Two and on course to make the play-offs, with an outside chance of gaining automatic promotion. They are four points adrift of third-place Wycombe with four games left, but Wanderers have a game in hand.

"Joey is probably going to want to play at a higher level," Nolan said. "And if that doesn't come to fruition then I am sure there will be a conversation in the summer.

"He describes himself as Joey on the pitch and Joseph off it and I respect both of them very highly."

Kevin Nolan (left) and Joey Barton
Kevin Nolan (left) hopes to persuade "good friend" Joey Barton to sign for Notts County

Barton, who won one England cap, was banned after being found to have placed 1,260 bets on football matches over 10 years. He was released by Premier League club Burnley.

He successfully appealed and the 18-month suspension was reduced by almost five months.

Meanwhile, County's former Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi says he is considering retiring and will make a decision at the end of the season.

The 36-year Nigeria international joined County in February 2017 and has made 50 appearances, scoring nine goals.

Nolan said Ameobi would be offered a job on the coaching staff if he quits playing.

Ameobi told BBC Radio Nottingham: "It's a tough one. My mind wants to [continue], but I have always said I will take stock at the end of every season and give myself a couple of weeks to mull it over and see if I am good to go."

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