Newcastle United have told Joey Barton he can leave on a free transfer after the midfielder's scathing assessment of the club's hierarchy on Twitter.

23452 - Newcastle make Barton available for free transfer

Barton met with club officials on Monday after a series of Twitter updates on Sunday that questioned the club's direction under owner Mike Ashley.

The club released a statement that read: "Newcastle United can confirm that Joey Barton has been placed on the transfer list today (Monday). The player has been advised that he can leave the club on a free transfer."

Barton posted on his Twitter account on Sunday: ''If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place.''

The 28-year-old was critical of the club's decision to allow captain Kevin Nolan's to join West Ham. Barton also made reference to a similar outburst from Jose Enrique, who also used the social networking site to accuse the club of a lack of ambition after selling Nolan.

''If it wouldn't effect (sic) team morale and cause unrest within the dressing room, am certain Jose's comments would be the tip of the iceberg," Barton wrote.

''And again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club. #hadenoughofcertainpeople"

He then added: ''If I wanted to leave, I'd just come out and say 'I want to leave'. Things need addressing as am not prepared to go through a relegation again.''