Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is considering the prospect of signing Newcastle United rebel Joey Barton.

The Daily Mail says Barton's representatives are understood to have been in contact with Old Trafford coaching staff and discussed the possibility of bringing in the Newcastle midfielder as a squad player.

The fact Barton is free is a major factor in negotiations although the 29-year-old is keen to play regular football.

Other big clubs have also made contact with Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City all watching developments. However, Barton wants to build on his performances last season and the amount of prospective game time he gets will play a major factor in his decision.

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