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02nd Jan 2017

Joey Barton is officially a Premier League player again

Barton's back...

Darragh Murphy

Joey Barton was not a fan of how he was portrayed in the Scottish media during his very short stint with Rangers.

He’s thus intelligently decided to avoid any headlines by returning to the Premier League, where journalists generally tend to leave polarising players well alone.

Barton is set to make his comeback for Burnley after the Premier League side agreed to re-sign the controversial midfielder who played for the club during its Championship-winning campaign last season.

Burnley announced on Monday that, after receiving international clearance, Barton will be rejoining the first-team squad until the end of the season.

“Burnley Football Club can confirm that following detailed discussions regarding the recent FA charge brought against Joey Barton, the club have now reached an agreement with the player and his representatives over a contract with the club until the end of the season,” a club statement read.

“Barton becomes available for selection from January 3rd after completing his registration in time to serve a one match suspension against Manchester City, as a result of a carry-over suspension passed down from the Scottish FA relating to a previous offence.”

The 34-year-old decided to give Scottish football a go in the summer but his time with Rangers was unsurprisingly marred and cut short due to a number of off-the-field indiscretions which included a training ground bust up and charges for betting on football games.

Barton returned to training with Burnley recently and was only delighted to have been re-added to the world-famous club WhatsApp group.

And Barton’s clearly lost none of his confidence in spite of his less-than-memorable stay with Rangers.

“That was the funny thing about it. So we go 23 unbeaten at Burnley and end up winning the league which isn’t an easy thing to do. I go up to Scotland and play eight games,” Barton told BBC Sport.

“So in the calendar year, I’ve lost one game which happened to be the Old Firm at Celtic.

“I was unbeaten in 30 competitive games so I’m looking at that going ‘OK, you’re copping a bit of flak everywhere’ but also, internally, I’m going ‘OK, you can’t be that bad a footballer, regardless of what the Scottish media is saying about you.'”