Midfield bad-boy Joey Barton wants to secure a move to Everton.
The QPR midfielder, who spent last season on loan with French side Marseille, is even prepared to make a significant personal sacrifice in order to join the club he has always supported.
The 30-year-old has no future at Loftus Road following the club’s relegation relegation and with Harry Redknapp keen to free up his reported £70,000 a week salary from the wage bill a move would suit all parties.
A potential transfer to the South of France appears to have fallen by the wayside with the Ligue 1 outfit reluctant to pay his expensive wages and Barton’s agent Willie McKay is now busy exploring other options in an attempt to find a new club ahead of the new season.
Speaking to TalkSPORT McKay revealed the lengths his client would go to seal a dream move to Goodison park, saying “Obviously his package with QPR is pretty big for Marseille’s terms really,”
“Joey said there was only one club he would make a sacrifice for and it would be Everton and I made that call to Martinez.
“That is the club he loves. I have approached them and said Joey would love to have Everton on his CV.
“Fair play to him he said he would lose money to go to Everton – and not many professionals would do that.”
Everton have been linked with a number of midfielders in recent weeks as doubts over the future of Marouane Fellaini persist. James McCarthy and Adem Ljajic are the two most recent names on Roberto Martinez’s list but according to McKay the former Wigan boss is also an admirer of Barton.
“Roberto Martinez said he likes him as a player and he also spoke to (Martinez’s assistant) Graeme Jones, who loves him as a player,” he added.
“Anything can happen in football. It could happen.”
While the Huyton-born Barton, who tweeted “Once a blue..” is clearly angling for a return to Merseyside his advances have not gone down well with a former Everton legend.
Neville Southall, a two time league winner with the club in the 1980’s, reckons the club would be better off signing a younger player on less money.
Speaking to TalkSPORT the former Welsh keeper said “What is he going to add to Everton? He might be a half-decent player at times but, if he was that good, Harry Redknapp would be begging him to stay at QPR.
“I don’t see how he will fit into Everton’s style of play. He ain’t the best passer in the world.
“Yes he is fit and runs up and down all day but Forrest Gump did that as well didn’t he?”
“I would rather he [Martinez] got in a young lad who is probably on less money and a better prospect in the long run so they have got until January to bed him in and see what he is like.
“A 30-year-old at Everton? I was hoping they were past that, unless he was a current international.”