Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has not ruled out the possibility of securing Joey Barton on a new deal at St James' Park.
Barton is expected to leave Newcastle when his contract expires next summer after being told he will not be getting a new deal.
However, Pardew insists the door is still open for Barton, who scored in Friday's friendly win over Darlington, to remain on Tyneside.
"You never know - it can be resolved as we go along," Pardew told the Evening Chronicle.
"If we get a strong year from him on the playing side and his conduct stays the same, then he's going to have not just us looking to do a contract with him but many others. That's the position we're in."
Despite the speculation over his future, Pardew insists Barton will have a key role to play for Newcastle this upcoming season.
"I think Joey will be an important player for us this season," added Pardew.
"With Kevin (Nolan) going, Joey is important to the group and has been terrific this season. I'm looking forward to seeing him play."