An impressive campaign for Newcastle, back in the Premiership after one season in the English Championship, has led the Magpies to open talks with Joey Barton over extending his contract.
The 28-year-old midfielder, who is currently playing some of the best football of his career, is hoping to extend his stay at St James' Park beyond the confines of the five-year contract he signed in June 2007.
He told the Evening Chronicle: "I have started discussions with the club, and everything seems to be going in the right direction.
"Hopefully we will get that sorted as soon as possible, and I can just concentrate on doing my utmost for Newcastle United.
"I want to stay here."