Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton is keen to tie up a deal for former Oldham captain Peter Clarke.

The 37-year-old was released in the summer by Latics having made 124 appearances for the club.

Clarke has been training with the League One side throughout pre-season and despite not initially being in his plans, Barton admits the veteran defender has won him over.

“When you look at who Peter Clarke has played with down the years, every centre half has got a big money move,” said the Fleetwood head coach, speaking after his side’s pre-season defeat to Burnley on Tuesday night.  

“That says he must be doing something right.

“He’s a first class professional, he was looking for somewhere to train and obviously his reputation within the game is that positive that for me it was a case of ‘come and train with us’.

“He’s been brilliant since he walked in the building.

“I never thought when he came into training he’d be somebody that we’d be contemplating signing but just judging his performances on a daily basis in training and looking at the way he’s integrated himself into the group I think it’s a no brainer for us to take him.

“We’ll be working hard to do that.”

Barton, younger than Clarke at 36, is not concerned by the former Bury, Blackpool, Southend and Huddersfield man’s advancing years.

The Highbury boss has been impressed with the central defender’s continuing desire and believes he could be a big influence on Town’s younger players.

“He wants to get to 800 appearances and has got that hunger about him as a player,” Barton said.

“He’s still got that enthusiasm, he’s a great professional and our younger players will learn from just watching him perform, how he turns up for training, his attitude and things like that.

“The way he conducts himself is brilliant for our younger players. We’ve got a lot of them developing and I want good senior pros around them because they teach you the route map.

“You do need players in the group to teach them how they get to the level they need to get to on a daily basis with your diet, your sleep pattern and the way you approach training.

“We’re always looking to add characters to our culture and Peter Clarke will hopefully be added to that in the near future.”