Burnley willing to offer Barton helping hand

Sean Dyche is willing to let former Burnley midfielder Joey Barton train with the club, but has stopped short of offering him a playing return.

Barton is a free agent after his contract at Rangers was terminated earlier this month, not even a quarter into the two-year contract he signed in May. The 34-year-old was banished from the club following a row with team-mate Andy Halliday and manager Mark Warburton, in the wake of the 5-1 Premiership defeat to arch-rivals Celtic on September 10.

He returned to training last Thursday but was immediately signed off again with stress, having reportedly been told to train with the youth players rather than link up with the first team squad. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the controversial player has also been charged by the Scottish Football Association for allegedly breaking betting rules.

Barton spent last season in Lancashire with Burnley, scoring three goals in 38 appearances as he helped them win the Championship title and clinch a return to the Premier League. He has now been linked with a reunion at Turf Moor, but whilst manager Dyche is prepared to let his former charge train at the club, it’s unlikely a playing contract will be offered.

“There are lots of players I’ve helped out in my past,” he said ahead of Monday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion. “If he felt he needs a base to get fit or whatever, I’d listen. Beyond that, that would be it. If Joey requires our support, he’ll get that. If he doesn’t, he’ll move forward to wherever he’s going to. He did great for us, beyond that is the indefinable.”

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