Joey Barton the leader Rangers need, says ex-Ibrox star

Ronald de Boer believes Barton is the kind of fiery character Rangers need. Picture: PA
Ronald de Boer believes Barton is the kind of fiery character Rangers need. Picture: PA
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Joey Barton would be the leader Rangers need for their return to the Ladbrokes Premiership, according to former player Ronald de Boer.

The 33-year-old midfielder is in talks with Gers over a three-year contract and visited Ibrox and the club’s Murray Park training ground on Saturday.

Barton was reportedly only offered a one-year extension at Burnley after helping them win the Sky Bet Championship but wants a longer deal.

Former Holland midfielder De Boer, who played for Rangers between 2000 and 2004, claimed the Englishman’s experience would help the Light Blues after a four-year absence from the top flight.

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He said: “If he comes I think it will be a good signing. He has the knowledge of the game, he has seen everything.

“It is also important because Rangers are nowadays a young team and they need a guy with experience, not only on the pitch but on the training ground and in the dressing room because next year it is really going to matter.

“Being back after so many years, you want to have a great start so you need a leader and I think Joey Barton can do that.

“It sends out the message that they really want to challenge for the title.

“But you have to be realistic and don’t buy because it makes the fans happy. You have to buy because you think you need to strengthen in that position.

“You have to use your sense. It is important that you do your homework well.”

De Boer was speaking at a media event at Hampden Park organised by William Hill, sponsors of the Scottish Cup.

Rangers will play Hibernian in the final on Saturday where the winner gets entry into the Europa League qualifiers.

De Boer, who won the trophy with the Govan club in 2002 and 2003, insists that could also help Rangers’ recruitment plans

He said: “If you want to sign people that is very important. It will attract players.

“Rangers is a huge club and they are now back.

“Everyone knows the magnitude of Rangers in Scotland, they know they will be the biggest rivals for Celtic but they have to strengthen in some places.”

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