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Joey Barton drops another QPR exit hint?

Midfielder says he's not looking beyond the end of the season with Championship club.

Joey Barton spent virtually the entire summer angling for a move from QPR to Marseille, and his latest remarks won’t do much to convince the fans that he’s going to stick around.

Barton revealed that Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes ‘blocked’ his move to the Ligue 1 team, convincing him to remain at the west London Championship club.

The 31-year-old has been one of QPR’s top performers so far this season. In their most recent outing, it was Barton whose late free-kick earned a point from a 1-1 draw with Reading.

However, while Barton puts his recent re-emergence down to the QPR fans, he insisted he is not looking past the end of the season – hardly reassuring words from the midfielder.

In an interview with the Brent & Kilburn Times, Barton said: 'I still believe that I am a Premier League player. I am part of a club that got relegated. I wasn’t here to be part of that. But I have a contract and I am here to get the club back in the Premier League.

'Beyond that is getting too far ahead of ourselves. Is it a good thing that I didn’t go to France? Not really, no – I had an offer on the table from Marseille.'

As if to soften the blow of those words, Barton went on to thank the QPR fans, who have stood by him since his 10-match Premier League ban which he earned for confronting Manchester City’s players on the final day of the 2011-12 season.

He said: 'I’ve been on record before in saying that I was disappointed with my own performances in my first season at QPR. It was something that didn’t sit well with me. I’m really thankful that the club and the fans have given me the opportunity to show that that’s not what I am like as a player.

'What has changed? A number of things; things change in your personal life. Confidence as well, knowing that the fans believe in you makes such a massive difference to players.

'I am as thick-skinned as they come, but when your own fans criticise you it can be difficult.'

image: © michael kjaer

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