Joey Barton edging closer to Rangers move

By dsguser
24 May 2016

Rangers are making preparations for Joey Barton's medical as the 33-year-old inches towards his Ibrox move, Press Association Sport understands.

The midfielder has verbally agreed a two-year deal and is now packing his bags for Glasgow ahead of putting pen to paper.

Gers boss Mark Warburton expects to see him at the Light Blues' Auchenhowie training base on Tuesday, where club medics will put him through a series of tests before signing off on the switch.

It will be the one-time England cap's second look at the facility in the space of 10 days.

He was convinced to make his move north after being given a guided tour round both Ibrox and the training ground by Warburton last week.

Free agent Barton had a 12-month offer on the table to stay at Burnley but has decided to go with the longer-term security offered by the Ladbrokes Championship winners.

Barton took to Twitter to confirm his exit from Turf Moor.

Paying tribute to the Clarets faithful, he said: "Thanks to all the Burnley fans and everyone connected to the club. Amazing support this year that will live with me for a lifetime.

"Toughest decision of my professional life to leave an amazing set of people and a phenomenal culture behind.

"Club is in a great place on and off the pitch with great custodians at the helm. Thanks again for the opportunity to represent your club.

"I was presented with an opportunity and challenge the competitive animal in me just could not turn down. Onwards and upwards now."

Rangers' offer also includes the option of a third year in Scotland which will be triggered if both parties are happy with how Barton fares in Scotland's top-flight.

Barton had hoped his move north would signal a return to European action but has not been put off joining the Gers despite seeing their Europa League hopes evaporate with Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Hibernian in the final of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

He now becomes Rangers' fourth summer signing, joining Accrington pair Josh Windass and Matt Crooks as well as former Liverpool midfielder Jordan Rossiter.

Warburton will see the signing as a major coup as he prepares to do battle with Celtic and their new manager Brendan Rodgers next term.

Barton was named Burnley's club player of the year as he helped lead Sean Dyche's side back to England's top division as Sky Bet Championship winners.

Meanwhile, Warburton has told midfielder Nicky Law and forwards Nicky Clark and David Templeton their time is up at Ibrox.

Templeton cost former boss Ally McCoist around £700,000 when he arrived from Hearts at the end of the 2012 summer transfer window but the winger has never fulfilled his Tynecastle potential and leaves having made just 84 appearances in his four years at the club.

Law joined 12 months after Templeton after an impressive spell with Motherwell and leaves with a League One, Championship and Petrofac Training Cup winners medal, as does former Queen of the South striker Clark.

He signed at the same time as Law and went on to net 23 goals in 102 appearances.

A club statement said: "Everyone at Rangers wishes all three players every success in their future careers, and thanks them for their efforts during their time at the club."

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