Frank McAvennie has a theory behind Joey Barton’s bold claim

Burnley's Joey Barton acknowledges the crowd after the final whistle

Glasgow Rangers midfielder Joey Barton recently claimed that Celtic star Scott Brown is not in his league.

Burnley's Joey Barton celebrates promotion

Frank McAvennie has suggested to The Scottish Sun that Rangers midfielder Joey Barton was trying to wind up Celtic star Scott Brown with his recent bold claim.

Barton, who recently joined Scottish Premiership-bound Rangers on a free transfer, claimed at the weekend that he is a much better player than the Celtic midfielder.

Brown is one of the best midfielders in the Scottish Premiership, but the former Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers man told talkSPORT that the Scotland international is not in his league.

Burnley's Joey Barton gestures to fans before the parade

McAvennie believes that Barton was trying to wind up Brown with his comments. The former Celtic striker has also stated that Brown will rise up to the challenge and show the Rangers midfielder just good he is.

“I know Joey,” McAvennie told The Scottish Sun. “He is a great kid and I am certain he’s winding Scotty up with what he said.

“Brown IS a top player. That is not in question. He could easily turn to Joey and say, ‘How many Champions League games have you played in?’

“The answer is ‘None’ — so that would be the perfect response. Scotty has played at an even higher level.”

“This might be the boost that he needs because if he’s not at the top of his game, then Joey will walk all over him,” added McAvennie.

“Knowing the type of player Scotty is, he will rise to it and it will be a helluva game when the two of them meet in the first Old Firm derby.”

Celtic's Scott Brown celebrates winning the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership at the end of the game

Both Barton and Brown are good midfielders, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top next season.

Celtic will start the 2016-17 Scottish Premiership campaign as favourites to win the title, but Rangers will be expected to give their Old Firm rivals a run for their money.

The Gers won the Scottish Championship title this past season with ease, and also clinched the Scottish Challenge Cup and reached the final of the Scottish Cup.

Celtic's Scott Brown speaks to referee Bobby Madden

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