Joey Barton is considering suing Daily Mail sports columnist, Martin Samuel, for an article he wrote suggesting the footballer should come out as gay.
Reacting, rather slowly, to Manchester United's Anders Lindegaard saying football needs a "gay hero", Samuel urged Barton to come out so football can have its "gay watershed moment".
He writes: "Could just one footballer please come out and be gay, so everybody can be really cool about it and the sport can get on with its life? Just one, it’s not much to ask surely?"
Samuel adds that until football does it "will continue to be presumed that the sport has not evolved enough to handle male homosexuality".
He then puts forward Barton as his choice, saying: "Joey Barton continues his quest for intellectual and social respectability. Why not come out as gay?
"Instant credibility, instant respect, untouchable by the Football Association or future employers. His past misdeeds mentally reprocessed and explained."
He then appears to have a dig at the French saying, in reference to a recent press conference in which Barton spoke with a French accent, he writes: "And, let’s face it, with that new accent, he’s probably halfway there."
Barton responded on Twitter:
He then retracts his peace offering:
He then goes on to call it "just wrong and a little bit weird" before questioning its timing: