It is rumoured he could be Fleetwood Town’s next head coach, but Joey Barton may not be ready to give up his hopes of playing or returning to Burnley just yet.
The midfielder has visited Town’s Poolfoot Farm training complex this season and is a friend of club owner Andy Pilley, having almost signed on loan in 2012.
Current boss John Sheridan is on a short-term deal until the end of the season but could extend his stay if he keeps Fleetwood in League One.
Barton told the Burnley Express he does not have any plans for the summer, when his suspension from football expires, though he would like to return to Turf Moor.
The 35-year-old was found to have breached FA betting rules last April, though his original 18-month ban was reduced.
The 2015/16 Clarets’ Player of the Year, who made his final appearance in last season’s 1-0 home defeat by Manchester United, will be eligible to return to football on June 1.
The former Manchester City, Newcastle United, QPR, Marseille and Rangers star has been training hard between media commitments and will consider his options when the time comes.
He said: “There aren’t really any plans, no. I’m just focusing on training and keeping myself in shape. I can now see the end of the ban.
“Initially, it was an 18- month ban and it was difficult to see the end of that. I’m not quite there yet, but now we’re on the home straight it starts to accelerate because the things you do in the background make it go quicker.
“I’m not thinking beyond that. Burnley have gone along great with the lads who have come in and are doing very well without me.
“If an opportunity comes to go back in the building I’d definitely consider that because I loved my time at Burnley.
“It would be great but I’m not taking anything for granted. As far as I’m concerned, Burnley are doing their thing and I’ve got to earn the right to be back in that building.”