By Amir Mir

Gerard Houllier has admitted that he tried to sign Joey Barton during his time as Liverpool manager.

Frenchman Houllier, who managed the Merseyside club between 1998 and 2004, revealed he attempted to land the boyhood Everton fan in 2004.

Midfielder Barton, 34, currently plays for Rangers, but is serving a three-week suspension from the Scottish club following an alleged training ground bust-up.

It is claimed by Barton in his autobiography: No Nonsense, that the Reds wanted his signature in 2004, which Houllier admitted was correct.

“It’s true [I tried to sign Barton in 2004],” Houllier told Soccerex as quoted by Insidefutbol. “I don’t know why we couldn’t sign him, it was something, but we were trying to sign him, yes, it’s true.

“He’s been a good player, sometimes a bit a lack of discipline, but that’s okay.”

Huyton-born Barton would have been at Manchester City, where the midfielder made 145 appearances, during the time of the Liverpool approach.

Barton has made 255 appearances in the Premier League during his 14-year career thus far, which includes a stint at French side Marseille.

He helped Burnley win promotion to the Premier League last season, before making a summer move to Rangers where he has made eight appearances in all competitions, prior to his suspension.

In other Liverpool news, Jamie Carragher gives amusing two-word verdict to Reds player record.