Barton Set For Shock Move To Blackburn?

Last updated : 02 January 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor
Allardyce is expected to be a busy man over the next few weeks as he attempts to piece together a side capable of pulling away from the Premier League dropzone.

The former Bolton and Newcastle coach accepts that new recruits are essential to Rovers' cause, and has hinted that he may turn to players he has worked with in the past in an effort to bolster his squad.

Senegalese striker El Hadji Diouf and out-of-favour Manchester City defender Tal Ben Haim are believed to be two he would be happy to work with again.

But Joey Barton is set for a return to action within two weeks following his period on the side-lines through injury, and Allardyce has long been a huge fan of the former Man City midfielder.

Big Sam signed Barton for Newcastle and stuck by the player despite the newspapers campaigning to get him kicked out of football.

And their friendship has continued, even though Allardyce was kicked out of St James' Park last January.

Mike Ashley allegedly wants rid of the "big earners", and asked Barton to take a pay cut following his time in jail, which the player refused.

Ashley was willing to loan Barton to get him off the wage bill, and Allardyce could offer to pay his £60,000 wages for a year long loan.

Allardyce: "If you've worked with a player before you know what they can do.

"The most important thing is coping with the pressures in this league over a season."