According to a number of leading bookmakers, Aston Villa are amongst the favourites to sign Joey Barton on a free transfer.
The 35-year-old is expected to return to football next season following 13 months on the sidelines after breaking rules in relation to betting.
The midfielder was initially handed an 18-month ban, but had it reduced by five months in July. Barton, who was contracted to Burnley at the time, has since taken on the role of a pundit.
It is understood that the former Manchester City midfielder wants to return to football for the 2018-19 campaign, and Villa are one of the clubs that have been credited with an interest.
The Villa supporters have been reacting to the news, and it would be fair to say that not many are thrilled.
Indeed, whilst one-time England international Barton would more than likely be a good signing for a number of Championship clubs, Villa fans are simply not interested in the deal.
A selection of the Twitter reaction can be seen below:
Listen it’s only a question .. 😂😂 good player but a deffo a liability #avfc
— Aston Villa Updates (@AstonVilla_info) April 9, 2018
Joey Barton, are you mental?
— George Adey (@george_adey) April 9, 2018
Do we really need to explain
— Simon Buswell (@Buzza66) April 9, 2018
— Sam Round ⚽️ (@Roundzy) April 9, 2018
As manager? I ask as it makes as much sense as suggesting him as a player
— LongOne 🧠🧠 (@LongyReturns) April 9, 2018
no because he is a criminal, a thug and down right vermin and someone with this maggots values are not role models.
— Dean stephens (@smithlar80) April 9, 2018
Sad times. How far have we fallen
— Mark Patton (@MarkPatton7) April 10, 2018