Reports from Glasgow are saying Celtic manager Neil Lennon is looking to battle it out with some of the English Premiership’s top bosses for the signature of Newcastle rebel Joey Barton.
Barton’ s career at St. James Park looks all but over after he was fined two weeks wages, transfer listed and forced to train by himself by the club for his rant on twitter criticising the way things were being run at the Magpies.
Newcastle have since told the midfielder signed in 2007 from Manchester City for 5.8 million pounds that he has become a poisonous influence in the dressing room and that he can leave on a free despite him having a year remaining on his contract. This has alerted a host of top clubs in the Premiership with Arsenal, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Stoke a few of the names being being mentioned interested in signing Barton. As well as Serie A side Fiorentina and SPL runners up Celtic. Who all seem more than willing to take a gamble on the midfielder despite his off the field antics.
Parkhead boss Neil Lennon is a keen admirer of Barton and sees him as the ideal man to link up play with Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper with his forward thinking play and his creative passing. Lennon also thinks Barton’s ability to stand up and be counted in the BIG GAME matches is an invaluable asset and something his team needs more of as they try and push on from last season and try to take the title from Rangers. Much speculation has been said that Celtic couldn’t afford the players 60K a week wages. However with him being available on a free that would surely give The Hoops the money to offer him a reasonable deal for at least a couple of years. But is this deal really the smartest idea from the Celtic boss?? given the players history. Barton’s record does proceed him, unsurprisingly given some of the things he has done. Some say he has learned and has changed his ways but surely any move for him would still be classed as a huge gamble for any manager and not just Neil Lennon.
Barton has caused trouble everywhere he has been and a move to Celtic would be no different in my opinion with it sure to be only a matter of time before life in the Glasgow Goldfish Bowl started to affect him. He would be wound up constantly in stadiums all over Scotland and I see no recent evidence from the player to show that he would be able to take the stick without reacting to it. This is a man who was fined 6 weeks wages for stubbing a lit cigar out in a team mates eye. And was also suspended by the FA for assaulting another team mate. So it would only be a matter of time I think before incidents similar to the one last year with El Hadj Diouf at Parkhead would happen again with Barton if in fact he was to sign for Celtic. Something that nor the club or player needs.
There is no doubt that on his day, and in the correct frame of mind Barton is a great player who could achieve so much more in football if he only just got his act together off the field. However we very rarely see this of him and his off field actions usually gather more headlines than the ones from the pitch. Funnily, the only reason this speculation has arisen in the first place is again because of his off the field actions. This ultimately proves he hasn’t learned from his mistakes. Neil Lennon would be best to leave this one out in my opinion. This signing would only end up in problems caused rather than success gained.