Joey Barton has told Rangers he wants to take some time before deciding whether to commit to a move to the Scottish Premiership, manager Mark Warburton has revealed.
The 33-year-old – Burnley’s Player of the Year in their successful promotion campaign to the Premier League – was shown around Rangers’ training ground last week and appeared to be on the brink of signing after reportedly being offered a three-year deal.
Warburton wants Barton’s experience to spearhead Rangers’ first season back in Scotland’s top flight after four years away, but thinks the midfielder is right to assess his options as he has a large number of them on the table.
“Joey came up to Glasgow last weekend – that was well documented – and we got to spend some quality time with him,” he said to Sky Sports.
“Players of that quality have many suitors and it’s a big decision for any player to move up to Glasgow so he wants to take his time and quite rightly.
“He is a very astute individual and hopefully we can push it forward. If not, we move on.”
Warburton was also asked about the club’s interest in Niko Kranjcar but insisted there were a plenty of players being assessed ahead of the transfer window.
The manager added: “There are a number of players on our radar like all clubs at this time of year, you are looking for potential targets who could add value and quality.”
Rangers will seal a Europa League spot if they beat Hibernian in Saturday’s Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park and Warburton knows that could attract stars to Ibrox.
He continued: “The winners on Saturday will have that access to Europe and it is a big boost for any club so there’s no doubt that will help us.
“We need our potential players to buy into the bigger picture – where we want to get to, what our targets are – but there’s no doubt European football is an incentive.”