Sky News breakfast host Holmes used the unacceptable C-word to describe Barton in the October edition of lads mag Maxim, causing some upset at his Newcastle club, who alerted Barton to the outburst.
But Barton, recovering from a pre-season injury that has delayed his Premiership debut, shrugged off the attack from Holmes, whom he has never met. He said only that it would make it interesting when their paths eventually cross.
A friend of Barton's said: "It's pathetic. Holmes takes himself very seriously as a presenter but he is trying to show off for the benefit of the magazine who are doing the interviewing. He's just trying to be outrageous for their sake.
"Joey hardly knows who he is. He mixes him up with the astrologer Russell Grant."