Joey Barton signed a two-year contract in May following Rangers promotion to the Scottish Premier League. After a brief six month stint in Glasgow, Rangers have terminated his contract by a mutual agreement. Barton made the headlines following a row with his team mate Andy Halliday and manager Mark Wartburton after their humiliating 5-1 defeat to Celtic. He has since been investigated and charged for breaking Scottish FA betting rules, when he was rumoured to have placed bets on 44 matches. With Barton now out of contract and free to sign for a new club, we’ve taken a look at where he might end up next.
Ideally, a move to the Premier League will be his first choice. At 34, it will likely be his last crack in the top-flight. After a successful year with Burnley last season where he helped them clinch promotion, Sky Bet have placed him at 13/8 to return to Turf Moor.
David Moyes will be keen to strengthen his side as they sit bottom of the league. Barton has spent the majority of his career in the Premier League and Moyes could see him as the man to save their season. He’s currently 16/1 to make the move to Sunderland.
However, a move to the Championship will probably be more realistic at this time of the season. Promotion chasing Aston Villa are the 4/5 favourites for his signature. Steve Bruce has recently joined Villa and he has turned their fortunes around; they are currently five points of the play-offs and signing a player with Barton’s pedigree will only increase their chances of a top six finish.