Joey Barton is set to return to Rangers after the club announced the conclusion of the midfielder’s disciplinary procedure.
The 34-year-old was banished from the club after a training-ground bust-up with boss Mark Warburton in the wake of September’s 5-1 Old Firm drubbing by Celtic.
But it appears the end of his suspension is only aimed at allowing him to work on his fitness ahead of an expected January departure.
Rangers said in a statement: “Joey Barton has been told he will return to full-time training following the conclusion of a disciplinary procedure.
“The Auchenhowie management team will inform the player of appropriate training arrangements to which he must adhere for as long as he remains a Rangers player. Neither the club nor the player will comment further.”
Wednesday’s latest development in what has become an embarrassing eight-week saga for the Light Blues comes six days after Barton met with Gers chiefs at Ibrox for a face-to-face hearing on his future.
The former Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR player was joined by his representative Eddy Jennings for the two-hour meeting but left the stadium with the stalemate seemingly unresolved and his suspension still in place.
Now he has been told he can make use of the facilities at Auchenhowie but there is little chance he will be seen in a Rangers strip again.
The Glasgow giants will be keen to remove his costly £20,000-a-week wage bill from their books and hope that by allowing him to resume training it will speed up the process of finding a new club for the one-cap former England international once the January transfer window opens.
Burnley – the club Barton left in the summer when he signed a two-year deal with Gers – have already been linked with a move for controversial midfielder.