Rangers signing Joey Barton has already started stoking the fires ahead of his Old Firm baptism after telling Celtic rival Scott Brown he is the superior player.
The outspoken former England midfielder has already claimed his aim next season is to make himself the best player in Scotland and he went further while guesting on Talksport’s breakfast show with Alan Brazil. Asked if he will be a marked man in Scotland, the 33-year-old said: “Of course, that’s the nature of being me. It comes with the territory.
“But without being disrespectful to the players up there, people keep talking about Joey Barton v Scott Brown. He’s not even in my league – he’s nowhere near the level of player I am. He can’t get near me. If I play well, Brown does not stand a chance. That’s not me being blasé – that’s just me stating what I believe.”
Barton was a pivotal figure for Burnley last term as they won promotion to the Premier League.
And he insists he is not ready to slow down yet. He said: “If people are going to have a different opinion ... it’s not going to be Joey Barton v Scott Brown. It’s Glasgow Rangers v the rest of Scottish football.
“There’s some good sides, some really good players. It will be competitive.
“I’m expecting I’ll have to be at the best of my ability for Rangers to do well. But I’m trained and ready to go. I’m not going up there thinking I can just turn up.”