English Premiership

Barton in talks with Marseille

2012-08-29 19:05
Joey Barton (File)
Marseille - Controversial English midfielder Joey Barton arrived in Marseille on Wednesday in the hope of completing either a loan move or a permanent transfer to the French giants from QPR, sources told AFP.

Earlier in the day, the 29-year-old wrote on his Twitter account that he was "en route to Marseille" and tweeted a picture of himself sitting on a plane.

After touching down at Marseille-Marignane airport early on Wednesday afternoon, he was taken to the club's Robert Louis-Dreyfus training centre to meet representatives from the club.

A club spokesperson told AFP that "no agreement has yet been reached".

Marseille coach Elie Baup confirmed Barton's arrival but said: "I don't know if it will be finalised today."

Barton has a notoriously chequered past, having notably spent 74 days in prison in 2008 after being convicted of assault, but Baup dismissed concerns about his reputation.

"We'll see. They are clichés," he said. "The requirement is to be a good fit for the team and to respect the collective rules.

"A player with character is often necessary. Hopefully he'll bring this element of his character, on top of his individual talent."

Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, meanwhile, said the rest of the squad would do their best to help Barton integrate.

"Every new player who arrives, we'll try to put them in the best position possible so that life in the squad is excellent, as it is now," he said.

Barton is currently serving a 12-match ban for a red card he received in QPR's final match of last season at Manchester City, when he was sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez and then lashed out at Sergio Aguero.

He has already taken to Twitter to express his desire to join Marseille.

"I am hopefully (sic) that things will be sorted out soon. Other clubs are in but I only want to play in Marseille. This is the place for me..." he wrote on Sunday.

"Hopefully, QPR and Marseille can finalise the deal in the next few days. My heart is already in the Velodrome..."

Marseille also confirmed the arrival of Brazilian defender Lucas Mendes.

Mendes, 22, is due to sign from Brazilian first division club Coritiba on a four-year contract for a reported fee of €2.5m, provided he passes a medical examination.

Read more on:    qpr  |  marseille  |  joey barton  |  soccer


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