He was loaned to Marseille last summer for the season and it seems to have been a move he’s embraced, as he’s been given a chance to get away from a division where he doesn’t exactly have the best reputation.
He’s said he wants to stay in France and there are reports suggesting that QPR and Marseille are working on a deal, which would ease the wage bill at the London club and allow him to get what he wants.
However, it may not be possible, especially if QPR hold out for a big fee to buy out the remaining two years of his contract. If that happens then Hull City should get on the phone quicker than any of their rivals to stay up next year.
As much as many fans will dislike him, there is a good chance Barton will find himself back in English football next season and he could certainly do a job for new boys Hull City.
He would add much needed experience, resilience and a bit of aggression into the middle of the side which will make the spine of their team a lot more difficult to break down.
The problem for the Tigers is going to be in convincing their fans it’s a transfer that could work and also the disciplinary side of the deal.
There are fans who will quite rightly see Barton as a liability and will not want him to take a place away from the side, which could be filled by a more respectable and hungrier young player looking for a chance.
The discipline side of things is going to be a fine balance for Steve Bruce to keep if he manages to pull off the deal.
Barton’s behaviour in that match against Manchester City showed he can lose the plot and he’s also been in trouble over in France for comments about various players.
However, that seems like something which is always going to be attached to his game but it can be overpowered by his more natural qualities such as passion and basic aggression as a midfielder.
He still has the ability to play a Steven Gerrard type ball over the entire length of the pitch to find a player on the counter attack and he does the basics very well which are both reasons Marseille have stuck with him for this long.
Half the job is going to be convincing him to come back to the Premier League because he’s never got on with the media who are all too willing to jump on his back and criticise, the second he does anything wrong.
However, this is a big money industry and any newly promoted team sometimes have to swallow their pride in relation to a player who would undoubtedly make them a better unit.
Do you think Barton will come back to England?
image: © michael kjaer