Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier back on trail of Newcastle star Joey Barton

Gerard Houllier is ready to resume his pursuit of Joey Barton.

The Aston Villa manager tried to sign Barton for Liverpool when the midfielder was at Manchester City and has joined West Ham in a bid to prise the 28-year-old away from Newcastle in January. 

On the move? Joey Barton is a target for Aston Villa

On the move? Joey Barton is a target for Aston Villa

West Ham have already made an offer for the former England international which fell short of Newcastle’s £5m valuation but Barton is desperate to win silverware and sees potential in Houllier’s reshaping of Villa’s squad.

He has 18 months left on his contract and ideally wants to see whether Newcastle under new manager Alan Pardew can match his ambition.

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