Joey Barton: Rangers midfielder to return to 'full-time training' after ban

Joey Barton
Joey Barton attended a meeting at Ibrox on Thursday

Rangers say midfielder Joey Barton "will return to full-time training" following a club-imposed suspension.

The 34-year-old has been absent from the club since a training-ground row after the 5-1 Scottish Premiership loss at Celtic on 10 September.

Alongside agent Eddy Jennings, he attended a meeting with club officials last week.

Barton, who joined from Burnley in May, has repeatedly said he wants to return and fight for his Rangers place.

"Joey Barton has been told he will return to full-time training following the conclusion of a disciplinary procedure," read a statement on Rangers' website.

"The Auchenhowie [training base] management team will inform the player of appropriate training arrangements to which he must adhere for as long as he remains a Rangers player.

"Neither the club, nor the player, will comment further."

Tom Rogic and Joey Barton
Barton (right) last featured for Rangers in a 5-1 defeat at Celtic Park

Barton is also facing Scottish FA charges for breaching betting rules. He was charged with placing 44 bets on games between 1 July and 15 September.

The former Manchester City, Newcastle United and QPR player, who has one England cap, left Burnley under freedom of contract at the end of last season, signing a two-year contract at Ibrox.

He has made eight appearances for Mark Warburton's side, who are second in the Premiership.

Barton was not available for comment but said earlier on Wednesday on Twitter that it was "a lovely day for a @Iceman_Hof session and a run!" in reference to Dutch ice bath training guru Wim Hof.

Meanwhile, Barton's former City team-mate Danny Mills believes there may be a future for the midfielder in England, possibly via a January transfer move.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche would not be drawn on a possible return for Barton to Turf Moor when in conversation with Mills on BBC Radio 5live last month.

Barton helped Dyche's Burnley win promotion to the Premier League by winning last season's Championship.

And Mills told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound: "There's clearly an understanding.

"They [Dyche and Barton] got on throughout the whole season so there might just be a glimmer of hope if Joey wanted to go back to Burnley."


BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson

The fact that Joey Barton is returning to full-time training does not necessarily mean the resumption of his Rangers career.

Under Fifa rules, a player under contract at a club must be provided with training facilities.

The fact that the player was suspended reflects the view of the management team about the serious nature of a training-ground row in September.

Any return to the first-team squad would need to be handled in such a way as to not disrupt the mood and unity among the players.

Rangers' statement does not say that Barton is returning to the first-team squad, or will be available for selection, and only the management team at their Auchinhowie training base is mentioned, rather than first-team manager Mark Warburton.

Either the player does eventually return to the first-team squad, or his Rangers career effectively remains over and what happens in the January transfer window will be significant.

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