By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer
Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton has had a medical at Newcastle after the two clubs agreed a £5.5m deal.
Barton is at the centre of a battle between Newcastle and West Ham
West Ham have also had an offer accepted and been given permission to talk to the 24-year-old.
But Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is hopeful of stealing a march on his West Ham counterpart Alan Curbishley.
Barton, on his way out at City after an alleged training ground assault on team-mate Ousmane Dabo, may also meet Hammers officials.
A statement on the City website revealed: "We can confirm that Joey Barton has requested permission to speak to two clubs.
"Newcastle and West Ham have submitted bids of £5.5m or more for the player's services."
West Ham are still hoping to get the chance to speak to Barton as Curbishley embarks on a massive summer spending spree.
He is close to signing Newcastle captain Scott Parker and has also been linked with a £13m move for Everton's England striker Andrew Johnson.