By Alex Stevens
Joey Barton is set to decide in the next 72 hours whether he has accepted Rangers’ contract offer, Football Insider sources understand.
Barton could be on the verge of a sensational transfer to Rangers after travelling to Glasgow for talks last Saturday.
As revealed by Football Insider, Rangers have offered Barton a three-year contract in a bid to entice him to the Scottish Premiership next season.
Barton and his partner have gone away for a short overseas break as the midfielder decides whether to accept Rangers’ offer or pledge his immediate future to Burnley.
A source close to the situation has told Football Insider that the club have been told they will have an answer from the former England international before this weekend’s Scottish Cup final against Hibernian.
Manager Mark Warburton has made no attempt to hide the club’s attempts to entice Barton to Glasgow.
He said on Wednesday: “There are no secrets in Glasgow. He’s a Burnley player still but he’s a very talented individual, he offers an experience and the maturity we maybe need to add to the squad.
“He was in the Championship team of the year after a fantastic season for him and I’m sure he has many options but all we can do is show him what Rangers represents and see where that goes. He’s sought after by many clubs so we’ll see where it goes.”
Barton has also been in talks over a new deal with newly-promoted Burnley after helping them return to the Premier League at the first attempt.
But the veteran is out of contract in the summer, and without a firm agreement in place with Burnley, his future remains up in the air.
The Championship winners had been willing to offer the 33-year-old a one-year deal as well as another crack at the Premier League.
The former Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR and Marseille star will have to weigh that up against the more long-term contract on offer from Rangers.
Barton has been a revelation for Burnley this season as they secured promotion to the Premier League. He made 40 appearances and was named the club’s player of the year in what was a persona and collective triumph.
In other Rangers news, one of the team’s emerging stars could be playing in the Premier League next season.