Newcastle United are once again being linked with a move for yet another French international; and once again it looks like they could actually pull off something of a coup.
Andre-Pierre Gignac is being linked with a move to the club from Marseille. The striker is reportedly being touted for a move by his current club this season as they look to trim his salary from a wage-bill that is currently inflated.
Gignac himself is not keen on a move but with his current employers looking to sell him he may change tact and join the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy in the Toon ranks.
Yet a player who Marseille are trying to sign could play a key role in Gignac’s decision making.
Joey Barton spent last season on loan in Ligue 1 with the club in the South of France and thoroughly enjoyed his time at the club; actively seeking a return to the club this summer from QPR.
But if you follow Barton on Twitter (chances are you do as he has quite a lot of followers) you might have noticed he was often posting pictures of himself with the same player over and over again; that player was Andre-Pierre Gignac.
Him and Barton seemingly became good friends whilst playing together and if Gignac really is a target for Newcastle he might do well to give his pal a bell and ask for some advice.
Because the controversial 30-year-old had a mixed four-year stint in the North East. The question Newcastle fans might be wondering is; ‘what will Barton tell him?’
Barton’s time at Newcastle did not exactly end amicably; with him suggesting he was forced out of the club by Mike Ashley.
He was fined two weeks wages and forced to train alone toward the end of his time on Tyneside after his continued criticism of the hierarchy at the club and these pasted Tweet’s remind you of the story:
'Ha ha the inevitable, 2 weeks wages fine has just arrived. Needless to say it shall be appealed forthwith.'
'If the club want to put out all these false statements via the [Evening] Chronicle, then let them do that. Everyone here knows, I speak the truth.....
I also have too much respect for my teammates and the fans, to get in a tit for tat war with them. I have too much self-worth and dignity'
But despite his rather sparky relationship with the heads who run the club he always loved the fans; when he left for QPR in 2011 he had this to say:
"I've an incredibly special relationship with the Geordie nation. Unfortunately they weren't the decision makers at the football club."
So in regards to the fans, Barton would have nothing but glowing references for Gignac; but if the striker wants to know about the hierarchy Barton will certainly tell him to consider other options.
Do you think Barton would help or hinder a move for Gignac?
image: © michael kjaer