London (AFP) – Controversial midfielder Joey Barton could be back playing Premier League football with Burnley provided his transfer receives international clearance, the club announced on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old Englishman, who played a leading role in Burnley’s promotion back to the Premier League last term, has been training with the squad since a short and troubled spell at Scottish Premiership outfit Rangers came to a premature end.
“The Clarets have agreed terms with the midfielder (Barton) on a deal until the end of the season –- subject to international clearance once the transfer window opens in January,” read a statement on the club website.
“Barton, 34, has been training with the Clarets to build up his fitness after leaving Glasgow Rangers in mid-November.”
Barton — who has been involved in a succession of ugly incidents on and off the pitch throughout his career — was frozen out after he had a blazing row with manager Mark Warburton following the 5-1 thrashing by bitter rivals Celtic in September.
He was made to train with Rangers’ Under-20 team following the six-week suspension for that offence and was then signed off one day later due to “stress”.
He was also slapped with a one-match ban by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) for violating betting rules while playing for Rangers.
Barton admitted breaching the SFA’s strict rules barring players betting on matches, even if they don’t involve their own club, which were implemented in a bid to preserve sporting integrity.
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