Football

Barton starred at Man City after breaking through in 2002.

Joey Barton claims Liverpool were very close to signing him in 2004

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Joey Barton's long-awaited autobiography entitled 'No Nonsense' will be published on Thursday and is likely to generate even more controversial stories about the 34-year-old, as if the past few weeks haven't been enough.

Having joined Rangers in the summer, Barton was handed a three-week suspension by the club on Monday six days after he was banned from the team's training grounds following a bust-up with teammate Andy Halliday.

The passionate midfielder, who had two previous attempts with different ghost writers to create an autobiography, is set to chronicle his own career and in 'No Nonsense', he has revealed how close he came to signing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe and the world.

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According to Barton, via the Daily Mail, he was very close to signing for Liverpool back in 2004. At the time, Barton, who was around the age of 21 or 22, was one of the most promising youngsters in English football.

He was in the midst of what turned out to be a five-year spell at Manchester City and he made 153 appearances for the Citizens, scoring 17 goals after graduating from the club's youth system in 2002.

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A sign of Barton's unfulfilled potential is highlighted by the fact that, to this day, he has not played more games or scored more goals for any other team than City - however he has indicated that things could have been extremely different.

Barton claims that then-Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier intended to buy him, only to get sacked in May 2004 and swiftly replaced by Rafa Benitez - who would lead the club to Champions League glory just a year later.

UEFA Champions League Final - AC Milan v Liverpool

At the time, Benitez had a huge task on his hands to keep iconic figure Steven Gerrard on Merseyside amid strong interest from Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, but he managed to do so and the former England and Liverpool captain, now with LA Galaxy, went on to solidify his legacy as a club legend.

Barton, who is from Liverpool and spent time in his local side's academy, has said that, had he signed for the Anfield club, he would have formed a dynamic midfield partnership alongside Gerrard.

Whatever you think of Barton as a person or as a footballer, he certainly lives football through and through and his upcoming book is sure to reveal some fascinating insights from one of the potentially most misunderstood players in the modern game.

Would Barton have been a success at Liverpool? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!

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Topics:
Joey Barton
Steven Gerrard
Celtic FC
Football
Premier League
Manchester City
Jamie Carragher
Liverpool

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