SCANNING the weekend transfer gossip columns, Leeds United’s link with Joey Barton represented the rumour that stuck out a mile.
The 32-year-old is on the look-out for his next club after leaving Queen’s Park Rangers, having captained the West London club last season, when they were relegated following a dismal campaign.
It remains to be seen how much weight there are in the weekend reports linking Barton, a footballing ‘bad-boy’ of old to United and a bit of a Marmite Man to many - you either love him or loathe him.
Barton sees himself as a bit of a philosopher off the pitch, but on it, erudite he certainly isn’t - although his commitment can never be questioned.
It’s just that whole-heartedness and ‘enthusiasm’ sometimes stretches into something more sinister.
Rewind the clock to February, when the Rangers captain was sent-off for the ninth time in his career in February after lashing out at Tigers midfielder Tom Huddlestone during the first half of a key game at the KC Stadium.
The end result was an apology to team-mates and supporters. But the damage was already done.
Controversy is never far away from Barton, that’s for sure. As there wasn’t regarding one Vincent Peter Jones who headed to West Yorkshire in the summer of 1989 for £600,000 from Wimbledon with the Londoner ending up leaving Leeds with a cult hero status safely in the bag when he left for Sheffield United for £700,000 in 1990.
Barton for Leeds... stranger things have happened, although not too many.
As for seeing him line up in a Leeds jersey, what do you think?