What next for Joey Barton?

Marseille midfielder Joey Barton has ruled out a return to QPR, so what’s his next move?

Joey Barton has ruled out a return to QPR once his loan deal at Marseille expires this summer.

Barton decided to join the French side earlier in the season after picking up a 12 match ban for his behaviour against Manchester City on the final day of the last Premier League campaign.

He has admitted that he wants to return to the Premier League but it definitely won’t be with the London based side.

His immediate choice is to try and convince Marseille into giving him a permanent contract which means he’d avoid trying to get an English team to take a punt on him, considering his temper which often gets him into trouble.

“I cannot see me playing again at QPR. Marseille had faith in me when no one had faith anymore, so I want to pay them back for that. At the right moment we will talk. But I miss Premier League,he said.

There are a few teams in English football who may be willing to take a punt on him, teams that already have strong midfielders and need that aggressive attitude and dynamism in the middle of the pitch.

West Ham could be good candidates as Barton is a like for like player alongside Kevin Nolan. Aston Villa could also use a player of his calibre and personality if they manage to stay up.

He may have to drop down to the Championship considering his disciplinary record in the Premier League and even then, any side he goes to will have to negotiate with QPR over the final two years of his contract.

However, any side interested in him mustn’t get blinded by the fact he has a pronpensity to get booked and sent off. He remains a very solid, accurate and consistent midfield player who can do a job at the highest level.

It’s almost like some English sides are petrified of going anywhere near him but with Harry Redknapp in charge at QPR, anything is possible. They may not have a choice but to try and hang onto him if they go down this season.

QPR fans, do you want him back?

image: © michael kjaer

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