Barton joins Rangers on two-year deal

Joey Barton was offered a new contract at Burnley

Barton was offered a new contract at promoted Burnley

Rangers have announced the signing of midfielder Joey Barton on a two-year deal.

The 33-year-old joins as a free agent on 1 July after turning down the offer of new terms at Burnley.

He was the Turf Moor club’s player of the year as they won the Championship title to return to the Premier League.

“When I first found out there was an opportunity to come here, that got the blood pumping,” Barton told the Rangers website.

“I’m fully aware of the situation the club has been in for the last few years but to be part of a group that is going to put this club back where it belongs was an opportunity, that if I didn’t take, I would probably have regretted it for the rest of my life.”

Barton, capped once for England, counts Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR among his former clubs.

He also played the 2012-13 season on loan in the French top flight with Marseille.

‘Competitive animal’

Barton spent one successful season with Burnley and used Twitter to explain his decision to leave.

“Thanks to all the Burnley fans and everyone connected to the club,” he wrote. “Amazing support this year that will live with me for a lifetime.

“Toughest decision of my professional life to leave an amazing set of people and a phenomenal culture behind.

“Club is in a great place on and off the pitch with great custodians at the helm. Thanks again for the opportunity to represent your club.

“I was presented with an opportunity and challenge the competitive animal in me just could not turn down. Onwards and upwards now.”

Rangers will play in the Scottish Premiership next season after comfortably wrapping up the Championship title.

Mark Warburton’s side also won the Petrofac Training Cup and lost a dramatic Scottish Cup final to Hibernian at the weekend.

Barton becomes Rangers’ fourth summer signing, joining Josh Windass, Matt Crooks and Jordan Rossiter.

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