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Barton: Gerrard wanted me at Liverpool (they ended up with Xabi!)

Joey Barton has claimed Steven Gerrard wanted him to sign for Liverpool.

Barton says he met with Gerard Houllier to discuss a move to the Reds.

In his new book, No Nonsense, being serialised in the Liverpool Echo, Barton wrote: "Had things panned out differently, I could have made the obsessive debate about the mutual suitability of the Gerrard-Lampard axis redundant.

“From what I gathered, Steven Gerrard agitated to get Liverpool to sign me in 2004, because he felt we had the potential to forge a partnership.

"I met with Gerard Houllier at Melwood, and agreed everything verbally.

"A deal was close to being concluded but then he was sacked that summer. It was never revived."

Indeed, instead Liverpool went on to sign Xabi Alonso...

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Paul Vegas

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