Joey Barton thought he was wanted at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Controversial midfielder Joey Barton has revealed he believed a prank that he was a transfer target for Manchester United back in 2011.

The outspoken star, currently with Scottish Premiership side Rangers, is releasing an autobiography entitled ‘No Nonsense’, which seems a little ironic given that he fell for this trick by his agent.

On his way to signing for Queens Park Rangers in 2011, Barton’s agent Wille McKay claimed he’d got a call from then-United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

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‘I would give Manchester United’s midfield a bit of bite, an injection of urgency. What are you waiting for? I asked McKay. Turn the bloody car round.’

Sir Alex Ferguson probably didn’t have much need for Joey Barton (Picture: Getty)

However, McKay then broke Barton’s heart by revealing it wasn’t actually Ferguson on the phone, but his friend Charlie.

For a man of Barton’s, ahem, supreme intellect, he probably should have guessed that United were unlikely to be vying for his signature at that point in his career.

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