Joey Barton admits he thought “a big club had come to their senses” when he was tricked into believing Manchester United wanted him in 2011.
Barton, who was suspended by Rangers last week, has often spoken about how he reckons he should have earned more than the single England cap he was given in 2007 and the midfielder reveals in his autobiography that he was fooled into thinking he was finally going to get his chance at one of the game’s biggest clubs.
In No Nonsense, Barton discusses how he was travelling to London to sign for QPR with Willie McKay when ‘Sir Alex’ flashed up on the agent’s phone.
“I’ve seen what you’re up to on Sky. Don’t go doing anything silly now. Why don’t you come here and we’ll have a conversation?” Barton was told after answering the call.
‘Finally, a big club, and a great manager, had come to their senses,’ he writes about the call in No Nonsense: The Autobiography.
“I would give Manchester United’s midfield a bit of bite, an injection of urgency. ‘What are you waiting for?’ I asked McKay. ‘Turn the bloody car round.'”
McKay then had to come clean, informing Barton that the voice on their other end of the call was his friend Joe with his flawless impression of Ferguson.
Barton and his agent continued on to QPR, where the midfielder signed a four-year contract.
In his book, Barton also spoke about his ‘stolen’ move to Liverpool, which never materialised after Rafael Benitez replaced Gerard Houllier in 2004.