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Joey Barton stays frozen out at Rangers despite top level talks


High jump: Joey Barton (right) battling with Scott Brown in the Old Firm game which sparked his Ibrox suspension

High jump: Joey Barton (right) battling with Scott Brown in the Old Firm game which sparked his Ibrox suspension

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High jump: Joey Barton (right) battling with Scott Brown in the Old Firm game which sparked his Ibrox suspension

The impasse between Rangers and Joey Barton has continued following the midfielder's meeting with club officials at Ibrox.

The 34-year-old has been serving an extended suspension from the club's training base following a furious row with boss Mark Warburton and team-mate Andy Halliday in the wake of the 5-1 defeat at Celtic Park on September 10.

Barton and his representative spent almost two hours in talks with the Ladbrokes Premiership club yesterday afternoon, but there was no change to his situation.

It is understood the meeting was the first stage in a formal disciplinary process, which the club confirmed it had instigated earlier this month.

The meeting came on the day Barton was initially due to attend a Scottish Football Association hearing over charges the former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder broke strict betting rules. He was accused of placing 44 bets on games between July 1 and September 15 this year.

The hearing was put back until November 17 following Barton's request for more time to prepare a defence and the stand-off between club and player now looks set to continue until at least that date.

Barton joined Rangers in the summer from Burnley, signing a two-year deal in July said to be worth £20,000 a week.

Meanwhile, Warburton hopes his future as Rangers manager is long term after reports linked him with the vacant managerial post at Wigan.

The Rangers boss is reportedly a rival to Karl Robinson, who left MK Dons by mutual consent on Sunday, and former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs for the Latics job, which has been vacant since the sacking of Gary Caldwell at the weekend.

Speaking at the Light Blues' training ground ahead of the visit of Kilmarnock tomorrow, Warburton said: "I am absolutely bemused where these reports come from. I am amazed they even make the papers."

Rangers signed former Wigan players James Tavernier, Martyn Waghorn and Rob Kiernan last season but Warburton denies having a relationship with the English club's chairman David Sharpe.

He said: "I didn't actually deal with David. I have no relationship there at all.

"With all respect to Wigan I have no idea where the rumour has come from," Warburton said. "I am the manager of Rangers, I would never talk about another club or another job. I am just amazed that it even makes the tabloids."

Asked how long he saw his Ibrox project lasting, the former Brentford boss said: "I hope very much it is long term.

"We spoke about building foundations.

"We look at where the club has been the last four or five years, rightly or wrongly, and the club needs to move forward on strong foundations.

"That is our task and our aim, and working closely with the chairman and the board and everyone involved with the club and if we can do that and put the club on sound footings then we will be in a good place.

"I just don't think we can afford to move too recklessly and try to move too quickly without those strong foundations."

Belfast Telegraph