Yorkshire Post 22/6/15
FORMER England midfielder Joey Barton has again been linked with a possible move to Leeds United - although the YP understands the financial package involved in luring the 32-year-old to Elland Road is likely to scupper any serious hopes of a move.
Barton was released by relegated QPR in May, with the Huyton-born player coming to the end of a lucrative contract at Loftus Road, where his weekly wages were in the region of £65,000-68,000 per week.
Some discussions did take place about Barton remaining in West London, but the fresh terms that QPR were offering were understood to be way short of what the Liverpudlian was seeking and he was not prepared to take a massive pay cut and stay.
The Rs captain is now considering his options, with Leeds having been mentioned as a possible next port of call.
But given his wage demands, it is highly unlikely that Leeds would be in a position to follow up any significant interest in Barton - whose next contract is likely to be the final one of his career.
Back in May, Barton was linked with a return to Marseille, where he spent a redemptive spell on loan in 2012-13.
But Marseille president Vincent Labrune ruled out any potential move due to Barton’s wage demands - after the midfielder’s agent asked the French outfit if they would him to join them next season.
Speaking last month, Labrune said: “The agent call me last week to offer me Joey for next year, but I don’t think so.”
Meanwhile, another veteran midfielder linked with Leeds, former Coventry and Derby player John Eustace, is due in Glasgow tomorrow to speak with Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers.
New Ibrox boss Mark Warburton is ready to offer the Gers’ captaincy to the 35-year-old free agent to help lure him north of the border.