Joey Barton delighted to bolster his Fleetwood Town midfield by snapping up long-term target and ex-Sheffield United man Paul Coutts

Paul Coutts
Paul Coutts
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Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton was delighted to bolster his midfield by snapping up long-term target Paul Coutts.

Town fought off a number of clubs to secure the signature of the 30-year-old, who was released by Sheffield United upon their promotion to the Premier League.

The midfielder boasts more than 300 career appearances, having also played for Derby County, Preston North End and Peterborough,

Barton says Town have been circling Coutts for months and he was pleased to make the midfielder his third signing of the summer following Danny Andrew and Josh Morris.

Coutts will wear the number 15 shirt and could feature in Town's first pre-season friendly against National League side Wrexham at Poolfoot Farm on Friday (6pm kick-off).

Barton believes he will raise standards on and off the pitch. The Town boss said: "Paul is a player we have been working on for a number of months now and we are delighted to get it over the line.

"He is someone who has been there and done it at this level and raises the standards on and off the field.

“He’s an exciting signing for Fleetwood Town and I’m looking forward to working with him."