24/08/2011 12:53 +0100 – It is understood the London club have made an approach for the 28-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract at St James' Park, and have been told they can talk to the player. Barton was made available for a free transfer earlier this summer after criticising the club's recruitment policy via his Twitter account. Barton has started Newcastle's first two games of the Premier League season after persuading manager Alan Pardew he was fully focused on the task ahead. He joined the club for £5.8million from Manchester City in June 2007 and had looked close to signing a new deal in January, but talks stalled following Andy Carroll's departure for Liverpool. The contract on the table then has since been withdrawn and the player has been told he will not be offered another. The sale of Kevin Nolan to West Ham irked the once-capped England international further, and his comments on the Magpies' efforts to strengthen the squad this summer were not well received in the boardroom. However, Barton, arguably the club's best player last season, has continued to perform on the pitch and has played his part in a stormy 0-0 opening day draw with Arsenal and Saturday's 1-0 victory at Sunderland. Pardew revealed on Tuesday that Barton would not be involved in tomorrow's Carling Cup second-round trip to Scunthorpe as he recovered from a minor foot problem, but that he expected him to return for Fulham's visit to Tyneside on Sunday. Pardew said: "He answered my question in terms of his commitment to the club and to the team again on Saturday, and that's what I live and die by. "You want top players to perform at their top level for your club when you are a manager, and that's what he did. "He won't be involved this Thursday because he has a problem with his feet at the moment which isn't major, but we just need to rest him. "But he will be available for Sunday." When asked previously about the likelihood of Barton remaining on Tyneside after the transfer window has closed, Pardew has adopted a "never say never" approach. Barton was urged on Tuesday by Nolan to join him at Upton Park. It remains to be seen whether QPR can persuade Barton his future lies at Loftus Road, with the player having previously indicated he would see out his current contract on Tyneside. He has previously claimed he would only leave Newcastle for Champions League football, but the lure of QPR owner Tony Fernandes' cash could yet prove decisive. Barton's departure would further anger Newcastle fans who have taken to him since his emergence from the off-field problems which saw him jailed in May 2008, and would leave Pardew with another significant hole to plug during the remaining week of the transfer window.