Outspoken footballer Joey Barton responded last night to Neil Redfearn's claims he wanted to sign for Leeds last summer.
The recently fired Rotherham boss was replaced by Leeds last May, but told Radio Yorkshire this week that Barton was one of four players with Premier League experience who he understood were keen on signing for Leeds, suggesting the deals fell through when he left.
Barton was linked to Leeds through the summer after his QPR release, but signed fellow with Championship side Burnley instead, and last night responded to reject the claims.
Not calling Neil a liar but he never spoke directly to me. Or anyone close to me to the best of my knowledge. https://t.co/e2RXssnjnp— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 17, 2016
Leeds is a huge club and of course if they had stability off the field, It could have been of interest last year. https://t.co/e2RXssnjnp— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 17, 2016
But with current issues away from the field, I couldn't afford to join a club and waste energy on nonsense. https://t.co/e2RXssnjnp— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 17, 2016
Worryingly Barton's messages suggest that actually Leeds could have been a side which attracted him, but their continuing off field dramas put him off.
Owner Massimo Cellino's hire and fire methods are at the heart of this, with everything from legal disputes with television channels and Verne Troyer rocking up at Elland Road making for a bizarre backdrop for a down on it's luck mid-table Championship side struggling and failing to recover to their former top flight status.
Barton's stance is one which Leeds fans must fear other top stars will echo, that joining the Whites just is not worth the headache.
His response has also put supporters in a strange position - choosing whether to believe the midfielder, or esteemed former boss Neil Redfearn.
With agents and intermediaries nothing is quite black and right, and Redfearn may have been sold a dummy somewhere. Barton's comments do show that despite his claims, he would have faced an uphill struggle to convince the former Newcastle and Manchester City midfielder to join Leeds.
Here is a look at how fans reacted via Twitter to his comments?
Did anyone seriously believe NR saying Barton, Adams etc wanted to come, not saying he didn't want them but it was surly all 1 way #lufc— Gary (@GazzaF83) February 17, 2016
@Joey7Barton you'd have ended up beating massimo cellino over the head with a blunt instrument. Thats why this is such a shame.— Jase (@Jase0909) February 17, 2016