Joey Barton agrees to rejoin Burnley for second half of season
Midfielder returns to Turf Moor after ill-fated spell with Rangers
Joey Barton will sign for Burnley on a deal until the end of the season the Premier League club has announced. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Joey Barton has agreed to rejoin Burnley until the end of the season on a free transfer.
Barton has been working at the club’s training ground since his release from an ill-fated spell at Rangers in November, and the Clarets announced he would rejoin Sean Dyche’s side in January pending international clearance.
The 34-year-old spent last season at Turf Moor, playing a starring role in the Clarets’ promotion as Championship winners, but turned down a new contract offer in the summer and instead signed for Rangers.
Burnley said in a statement: “The Clarets have agreed terms with the midfielder on a deal until the end of the season – subject to international clearance once the transfer window opens in January.”
The 34-year-old added on Twitter: “Its great to be back! #UTC.”
Barton was voted Burnley fans’ player of the year last season, his first with the club, having played 38 league games in their Championship-winning campaign.
Though a contract to remain with Dyche’s team for their top-flight tilt was on the table, Barton snubbed the offer to venture north of the border, stating at the time that the opportunity to represent Rangers was one “the competitive animal in me just could not turn down”.
However, he appeared on just eight occasions for Mark Warburton’s side before a two-month exile followed after a training-ground bust up in the aftermath of the 5-1 loss to rivals Celtic in September.
That Old Firm affair was the final time Barton would pull on a Rangers shirt, though it took eight weeks for the two parties to reach an agreement on the termination of his contract in early November.
Once Barton became a free agent again, a return to Turf Moor always seemed on the cards and Dyche refused to rule out a reunion with the ex-Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder.
And less than two weeks after his Rangers exit was confirmed, he was training at Burnley’s Barnfield training complex again to maintain his fitness.
Barton had been unable to sign for any club until January, but Burnley have now confirmed that he will be wearing claret and blue again come the new year.
His second Burnley debut will be delayed, though, as Barton must serve a one-game suspension for breaching Scottish Football Association betting rules.
He was found to have placed 44 bets on games between July 1st, when his Ibrox deal started, and September 15th, and the ban was due to carry over whichever club he next joined.