By Richard Wright
Leeds United have reportedly denied any interested in sacked Rangers midfielder Joey Barton.
Barton has had a career of highs and lows – from being jailed for assault in 2008 to winning the Championship with Burnley last season. For now, it looks unlikely he is heading to Yorkshire. One thing that’s for certain is that he is no longer wanted at Rangers.
The Guardian commented about the midfielder: “Barton was involved in another ‘training ground bust-up’, a familiar routine in a turbulent career, after he and his team-mate Andy Halliday became embroiled in a heated disagreement over Rangers’ performance.”
Barton said in the same interview: “If someone is looking for conflict I won’t shy away from it – ever.”
After the row, Barton was banned from training for three weeks by the club, which he is on record as saying was unjust. “Strange” and “wrong” are the words he used to describe his suspension from the club and he also said he did not think he had anything to apologise for.
After only eight appearances, the Scottish club were looking to avoid a public relations nightmare and were left with no other option but to end his contract. It is not known where Barton will next ply his trade.
Ewan Murray from The Guardian said: “Club X will inherit a player with a point to prove, which is rarely a bad thing, but also a blatant lack of match sharpness given the tribulations of the last five months.”
Therefore, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Leeds United would take a look at Barton for the second half of the season. They are a club that has just about crept into the play-off places and are looking to make that next step. Barton’s experience at big clubs and experience in winning the Championship might come in handy.