Glasgow Rangers boss Mark Warburton has admitted to the Scottish Herald that he did not think he had a chance of convincing Joey Barton to move to Ibrox.
Barton was one of Rangers’ top targets this summer, but at first the deal seemed unlikely.
Barton had just played a key role in getting Burnley promoted to the Premier League, and he was widely expected to sign a new contract at Turf Moor.
However, Rangers sensed an opportunity to swoop, and when they handed the 33-year-old a two-year deal to sign he decided that a move to Glasgow would be best for him.
The deal is the highest profile transfer completed by any Scottish team this summer, and Warburton admits that he wasn’t expecting to be able to pull it off.
“Honestly? No,” he said when asked whether he thought Barton would sign for Rangers.
“What persuaded him to come? Possibly his relationship with Frank (head of recruitment McParland) and conversations myself and David Weir had with him.”
Barton is expected to have a key role for Rangers next season, as they look to end Celtic’s dominance of the Scottish Premiership.
The Bhoys have won the last five Scottish Premiership titles, but Rangers are expected to give them increased competition next term.
Barton is one of five signings that Rangers have completed already this summer, with more additions set to follow in the near future.