Thursday, March 23, 2023

Exiled Rangers Star Reveals He Almost Joined Liverpool!

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

Midfielder Joey Barton has revealed in his new book ‘No Nonsense’ that he had almost joined Liverpool. The 34 year old who have been banned by his club Rangers claimed that he had a verbal agreement with then boss Gerard Houllier before he was replaced by Rafael Benitez.

Benitez chose to sign Xabi Alonso instead of the English man. “Had things panned out differently, I could have made the obsessive debate about the mutual suitability of the Gerrard-Lampard axis redundant.

I met with Gerard Houllier at Melwood, and agreed everything verbally. A deal was close to being concluded but then he was sacked that summer. It was never revived.”

Houllier wanted to sign Barton to partner Steven Gerrard in the midfield. “All that remained to be agreed with City was the fee, when Rafa Benitez took over from Gerard Houllier. I was in Dubai when I was informed that he had instead decided to sign a kid from Real Sociedad who had just broken into the Spanish national team. That turned out to be £10.7m well spent. Xabi is one hell of a player, whose passes have a great range and accuracy.”

While playing for Newcastle United, Barton was accused for making a reckless tackle on the Spanish midfielder during a 3-0 defeat in 2009. He was sent off for the rough two footed tackle. Barton said, “Xabi retained the ball near the corner flag fractionally longer than was prudent. That gave me the opportunity to fly in, and disguise my malicious intent as best as I could. Alonso milked the moment with a barrel roll. I expected a yellow and was shown a red.”

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