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What now for Joey Barton? Watford favourites to sign free agent

| 12.08.2015

Joey Barton appeared to have been handed a Premier League lifeline by West Ham earlier this week only for the Irons to perform a u-turn and scrap the deal.

It may have been the number of people highlighting David Gold’s past comments about the player, the club bowing to fan pressure or perhaps a disagreement over wages but regardless of whatever put paid to the deal Barton find’s himself still without a club.

It shouldn’t be too long before someone snaps up the controversial, one-time England man however, and according to Ladbrokes the midfielder could still be plying his trade in the top flight in London with Watford the 2/1 favourites to offer him a home at Vicarage Road.

According to reports, Barton was training with the Hornets prior to his West Ham discussions and this prompted a flurry of bets in the Borehamwood area.

However, with talk of that particular avenue cooling in recent weeks there could be plenty of value in the chasing pack, which is led by Celtic at 12/5.

The Scottish Champions are on the brink of securing a place in the Champions League and the extra games that come with that will put a strain on the squad and Barton’s presence and experience could prove invaluable.

The chance of some guaranteed silverware would surely appeal to the 32-year-old whose sole honour to date is the Championship winner’s medal he picked up in 2009-10.

Third in the betting are Newcastle and a return to St James’ Park can be backed at 5/1, while another U-turn from West Ham is not out of the question, with the Hammers still chalked up at 8/1.

Norwich are the only other Premier League outfit seemingly in the running, with the Canaries priced at 10/1 but with the same odds available about Leeds United and Bristol City a drop back down to the Championship could well be on the cards.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.