West Brom odds shorten on Joey Barton, Celtic remain long shots

Joey Barton Marseille

Newcastle United are also in the running, according to bookmakers, while Derby County remain the favourites.

West Brom's odds of signing Joey Barton this summer have shortened, according to Sky Bet.

The Baggies have looked short in midfield after lacklustre performances against both Manchester City and Watford in the Premier League. And the controversial free agent is now as low as 5/1 to join West Brom to help solve their problems in the middle of the park.

Championship side Derby County remain favourites, however, with both the 32-year-old's former club Newcastle United and Scottish Premiership champions Celtic currently ranked as having an outside chance by Sky Bet.

Derby are 11/8 to sign Barton, while Newcastle are priced at 8/1 and Celtic 14/1.

Interestingly, West Ham are still second favourites despite announcing they will not sign the midfielder, with Nottingham Forest shortly behind them.

Where is a good fit?

But West Brom's stuttering start and need to strengthen could well be a recipe for the 32-year-old's arrival at the Hawthorns. Most have passed up on the opportunity on the controversial character but Tony Pulis has never been afraid of a challenge.

Newcastle fans, meanwhile, have responded warmly to the idea of a Barton return, according to the Chronicle, while the man himself has talked up Celtic on Twitter recently.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch