This is what Joey Barton had to say in latest on Bristol Rovers free agent search

A free agent had been spoken about in the last week as Joey Barton looks to add to his Bristol Rovers squad.

Joey Barton says he has not held any further discussions with the free agent he had been considering signing for Bristol Rovers.

The transfer window is shut for Premier League and English Football League clubs, but they are allowed to sign free agents.

Rovers are permitted to sign up to three players not currently with a club after submitting a 19-man squad list to the EFL.

After revealing he held informal talks with former Liverpool, Newcastle United and England striker Andy Carroll, Barton revealed he had held talks with another player, though his identity was hidden.

A surprise phone-call last Wednesday looked to have put the wheels in motion of a possible new arrival but things have gone quiet in that department.

“I haven’t spoken to him this week," Barton revealed in his pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon.

"Nothing new. I felt it was kind of a longshot. He hasn’t signed for anyone yet or anything like that, but we’ve got to focus on who we’ve got here.

"The thing is, lots of people make contact with you and until you speak directly to people, you don’t quite know what the lay of the land is but, for us, we’ve got to focus on the boys in the building and getting them organised to go and take maximum points on Saturday."

Barton’s approach to the transfer is that may now be unlikely to happen, unless things change in the short-term.

An attack-minded player that could play on the wing is the preferred position to recruit in, but there has also been a lack of depth at centre-back.

The manager had desired two more players on deadline day but ended up signing no more following the arrivals of Sylvester Jasper, Bobby Thomas and Josh Coburn.

Free agents remain out there such as Antony Pilkington, Scott Sinclair, Josh Harrop, as well as Barton’s former Rangers teammate Joe Dodoo.

He said: “For me, we’re always looking to add to our group if there is quality out there, but as of yet all I’ve heard are noises and people saying, ‘he might be available’.

"As of yet, I haven’t had a direct conversation with anyone. For me, I’m living our life as if that’s not going to happen."