Barton says QPR striker Charlie Austin 'often asks about Newcastle'

The one time England cap also revealed that he had his reservations about whether the forward should move to the Magpies.

Former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has revealed that star QPR striker Charlie Austin regularly asks him about what life at Newcastle United was like for the 32-year-old, as the ex Burnley man continues to be linked with a switch to the North-East, in an interview with the Shields Gazette.

Barton himself is out of contract having been released by the Hoops, and has been closely linked to Leeds United in the last few weeks. Although he is affectionate about his time at St James's Park, the controversial playmaker has some reservations about encouraging the 25-year-old to move to Newcastle when there remains such uncertainty at the club.

The Magpies are yet to appoint a permanent manager after the debacle of the last few months of the season just gone. The club, with recently departed John Carver as interim manager, barely survived relegation to the Championship, only assured of their spot in the Premier League on the last day of the season after Hull failed to beat Manchester United and Newcastle beat West Ham.

“I spent four years up there (at Newcastle) and it’s a fantastic place to ply your trade, the midfielder is quoted as telling the Shields Gazette.

“There’s a great support base who support their team home and away.

“The only issue for him is maybe a little bit of instability going on, in and around the place, Barton said about a move to St James's Park being good for Austin.

“Will they be the best opportunity for him should he decide to leave QPR? Will they provide a more stable environment for him to kick on to that next level?

“He gets married towards the end of the month and no doubt I’ll have a conversation with him. He’s always asking questions like ‘what’s it like there’.”

Barton fell out with the officials at Newcastle before moving to Loftus Road, and considering the struggles at the end of last season, clearly feels there are problems in the North-East that are yet to be resolved.

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