Belfast Telegraph

Barton rejoins Burnley after his nightmare at Rangers

By Robert Jones

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 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."

The 34-year-old added on Twitter: "It's 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, 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.

• Warburton believes Martyn Waghorn's weekend performance shows that his squad will get the rewards for maintaining their efforts when not playing.

Waghorn marked his first start for nine weeks with a double in Rangers' 2-1 victory over Hamilton on Friday after showing up well during the week.

Warburton said: "He played very well, and he trained very well too last week on astroturf. That came into it as well.

"Waggy has been very patient and he's a guy who scored 28 goals last season and had an unfortunate injury which meant he missed some key games.

"So he's been patient, but that's what you have to do. It's a big club, and you want to bring the quality and strength in depth in, and that means sometimes you have to miss out. A lot of players are doing that, but when they are called upon, they show a tremendous application.

"That's a nice thing that David (Weir) and I can look round and see the likes of Kenny Miller, Joe Dodoo, Michael O'Halloran, Harry Forrester, Matt Gilks, Clint Hill and Philippe Senderos. To have that quality behind you to call upon is tremendous."

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