JOEY BARTON could line up in the Fleetwood Town side to face Tranmere in a pre-season friendly at the League Two clubs’ Highbury ground tomorrow afternoon.
The controversial Queens Park Rangers midfielder, who has been given permission to train with Town to get fit, may be in the clear to play warm-up matches, even though he must serve at 12-game ban following his dismissal in the final game of last season at Manchester City.
Barton played 45 minutes for Fleetwood in a closed match at Kilmarnock in midweek.
Fleetwood manager Micky Mellon, the former Tranmere midfielder said: “I am led to believe that Joey could play for us on Saturday, and until somebody tells me the opposite he is allowed to play.
“He is a few weeks behind because he hasn’t trained as much, but he has been a real, positive influence on the group.
“You can see that everyone wants to get to his high standards.”
Meanwhile Tranmere’s pre-season friendly at Port Vale on Saturday, August 11 will be played behind closed doors because essential repairs at Vale Park will not be completed in time.
The club have said the decision was enforced as they have been unable to carry out usual work during the summer because of their financial position. The Valiants are in administration.