According to his agent QPR’s Joey Barton could soon be heading back to the English top-flight, as the midfielder is prepared to take a wage cut to join boyhood team Everton.
Barton spent last season on-loan at French club Marseille, but his reported £70,000 a-week pay packet put the Ligue One outfit off signing him on a permanent deal.
Barton’s current club QPR are attempting to offload a number of big earners, as the Hoops prepare for life in the second tier of English football. Boss Harry Redknapp is believed to be looking to reshape his squad before the transfer window shuts in early September.
Barton is one of the big earners that Redknapp could be looking to offload. However, Redknapp is ready to play Barton in Rangers’ opening game of the season on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday.
Barton has never tried to hide his allegiance when it comes to football. He is an Evertonian through and through. He has been linked with a move to his boyhood club on a number of occasions in the past, but a move has never materialised.
The midfielder’s agent Willie McKay revealed the story by telling TalkSPORT: “Obviously his package with QPR is pretty big for Marseille’s terms really.
“Joey said there was only one club he would make a sacrifice for and it would be Everton and I made that call to Martinez, that is the club he loves. I have approached them and said Joey would love to have Everton on his CV.
“Fair play to him he said he would lose money to go to Everton – and not many professionals would do that.
“Roberto Martinez said he likes him as a player and he also spoke to (Martinez’s assistant) Graeme Jones, who loves him as a player. Anything can happen in football. It could happen.”
I think controversial is too soft a word to describe Joseph (as he prefers to be called) Barton. He has been in more scrapes than Charles Bronson and his career has been littered with misdemeanours, including assaulting a teammate in training and trying to take on the whole Manchester City team, after being shown a red card against the Citizens in 2012.
His actions after the latter incident lead to Barton receiving a 12 game ban. These are just two incidents from Joey Barton’s long rap sheet. The midfielder is definitely a ticking bomb, just waiting to go off. Barton has vowed to control himself on a number of occasions, but still seems to explode at the drop of a hat.
He even manages to get himself in trouble on social networking website Twitter. His Twitter account must be one of the most popular for sports media hacks looking for a story.
Putting aside all the controversy and incidents, as hard it may be, Barton is a very useful footballer on his day. That is why so many clubs have signed him, despite knowing the incidents he has been involved in throughout his career.
Barton played a part in Marseille qualifying for the Champions League from Ligue One last season, as his parent club QPR were relegated to the Championship, with no more than a whimper.
Barton’s presence may just have galvanised the Hoops last season, but then may it may not have, who knows. He definitely would have put up more of a fight, maybe in a literal sense, than most of the QPR players did last season that is for sure.
Barton should have been a contender, but instead he is considered as one of the least likeable footballers that England has ever produced. It is just a shame because the 30-year-old does have talent.
The offer must be a tempting one for Everton boss Roberto Martinez. He would get a very decent central midfielder for a small fee and relatively low wages. The Toffee’s do not have the budget of the sides they are expected to compete against, so it could be a good deal financially.
However, Martinez has to weigh up Barton’s talents, against the powder keg that is considered Joey Barton’s mental state. Barton has not been able to behave himself at other clubs, why should he at Everton.
It is a difficult decision because Barton could completely unsettle the Toffees dressing room. He does not exactly hold back on the managers he plays for either, so Martinez has to consider that as well. The new Everton boss will want to impress in the new season and a disruptive influence is not what he needs at the club.
As much as I think that the signing of Barton would be a decent deal financially for Everton, I think the midfielder comes with far too much baggage. I believe that Everton should say thanks, but no thanks to Joseph and his agent.
Should Everton sign Joey Barton?