Barton due back at Rangers as uncertainty surrounds Ibrox future

Date published: Monday 19th September 2016 10:10

Joey Barton: Suspended by Rangers

Joey Barton: Suspended by Rangers for three weeks

Joey Barton is due to return to Rangers today, but his future remains uncertain following his temporary banishment.

The 34-year-old confirmed last week that he was told to stay away from the club for several days in order to “re-evaluate the way I’m thinking” following a heated argument involving team-mate Andy Halliday in the wake of Rangers’ 5-1 defeat by Celtic.

Barton was absent as Rangers continued their indifferent start to the season with a goalless Ibrox draw against Ross County on Saturday.

Manager Mark Warburton refused to discuss the former Newcastle and Manchester City player’s situation after the game, describing it as an “internal matter”.

But the midfielder had already spoken at length in a live interview on talkSPORT radio 24 hours earlier.

Barton declared himself “as committed to Glasgow Rangers as the day I signed”, but also implied criticism of the way Warburton had handled the situation and cast doubt on his desire to change his ways.

He said on Friday: “We’re asked for an opinion and I’m someone who gives an opinion. Two passionate Rangers players have then shared opinions on how we get better as a team and what’s going wrong for us. It’s nothing more and nothing less than that.

“Obviously sometimes the way I communicate can be a bit blunt and a bit direct and it ruffles people’s feathers, which I know I have to work at, but I don’t apologise for trying to win. I care deeply about playing football.”

Barton, who signed a two-year contract in the summer, added: “The way it’s been handled is strange. When you look at my history and you’re told to stay away from the club, it does look like something more has happened, and that’s why I’ve decided to get on the radio and speak, because it’s wrong.”

Warburton is meeting the media this afternoon to preview his side’s Betfred Cup quarter-final against Queen of the South.

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