Football’s most controversial son, Joey Barton, has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons following the aftermath of Rangers’ 5-1 loss in the Old Firm derby to Celtic.
The former Burnley midfielder has been suspended by the club for three weeks after failing to apologise to manager Mark Warburton for comments made, placing his future at the club in huge doubt.
Now, further revelations have been made that the Englishman wasn’t keen on heading to the Ibrox in the first place, instead favouring a move to their bitter Glasgow rivals.
Celtic chief executive, Peter Lamwell, claims that the club were not interested in acquiring the services of Barton, however, the player did try and force through a move to Scottish champions.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Lamwell clearly contradicts the claims made by the player in his autobiography – the quotes were published in the Daily Mail:
“I think Joey’s been had by a bit of a matchmaker here,” he said.
“I remember it well, we had just announced Brendan (Rodgers) as our new manager and I was with our company secretary in London at the time.
“An agent called me saying that Joey was going to sign for Rangers but he would really prefer to come to Celtic and were we interested in signing him, but it wasn’t something we wanted to pursue.
“These things happen to players sometimes in football, but needless to say we wish Joey well at his new club.”
Barton, who reportedly earns £20,000-a-week at Rangers, had quoted in his autobiography saying that Lamwell had actually contacted him about a move but was not interested in holding talks.
These claims follow on from revelations that the midfielder has also breached betting rules and faces further sanctions from the governing bodies in Scotland to go along with his internal punishments.
Ironically, the club involved in the matter are Celtic, with Barton supposedly placing bets on their game against Barcelona in the Champions League – which they ended up losing 7-0.
In the case of the 34-year-old, this is simply another chapter in his book of controversial incidents which have tarnished his career.
A return to Rangers now looks unlikely and after these recent revelations, a move to Celtic doesn’t exactly look promising either.