Joey Barton: Rangers boss hopes club's vision appeals to midfielder

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
Joey Barton
Joey Barton is out of contract after helping Burnley win promotin
Scottish Cup final: Rangers v Hibernian
Date: Saturday, 21 May Venue: Hampden Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Coverage: Watch on BBC One Scotland; listen on BBC Radio Scotland; TV, radio and text coverage on BBC Sport website

Rangers manager Mark Warburton hopes a tour of the club and his vision for its future will persuade Joey Barton to join.

Warburton accepts that if Barton's decision is a financial one, Rangers will not be his choice.

But, having spoken to the midfielder last weekend, he believes the 33-year-old could join him for Rangers' first season back in the top flight.

"Joey is a player that will have many, many suitors I'm sure," said Warburton.

"If we can show what we are as a club - the support, history, stature - and our aspirations and targets then hopefully any player will find that appealing.

"If they do, hopefully we can conclude business. If not, we move on.

"Our job is to sell the opportunity that Rangers represents.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton
Warburton's Rangers will face Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final

"We're never going to compete with wages down south, that's an obvious point to highlight.

"We were delighted to welcome Joey to Glasgow last weekend. He was great company. He's a very experienced, a very combative and highly intelligent footballer, so we were delighted to talk to him."

Barton helped Burnley secure promotion back to the Premier League by winning this season's Championship.

He has also featured for Manchester City, Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers and Marseille and won his solitary England cap in 2007.

And while Warburton does not believe Barton's decision hinges on the club winning Saturday's Scottish Cup final against Hibernian and thus qualifying for Europe, he admitted: "It will help.

"Rangers are a big club. We're back in the Premiership, we've got four Old Firm games as well as the various fixtures against Aberdeen and Hearts.

"There is no problem selling it. One look at Ibrox and the training ground shows the size and stature of the club."

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