With QPR bad boy Joey Barton seemingly no longer set for a loan move to Marseille and the transfer window making its way from ajar to fully closed, it appears that the midfielder may have to brace himself for a spell training with the youth team in West London.
The 29-year old revealed on Twitter that his move to France has collapsed and he is back training with the kids after being ostracised in the capital due to his sending-off and subsequent retaliation against Manchester City on the final day of last season.
The former Newcastle midfielder received a 12-match ban for his actions at the Etihad Stadium and will miss all matches through till October for Mark Hughes’ side if he remains with the Loftus Road outfit, though a loan move to the continent would mean he could begin playing almost as soon as his plane lands.
Barton now has little time before the window shuts to try and instigate a move away from the club that this time last year he was made club captain of, although it seems that his only option would be to leave the country.
The England international trained with League Two newcomers Fleetwood Town for a period over the summer, but with rumours of a loan move to the Fylde coast gathering pace, the FA stepped in to prevent a deal where he could have completed his suspension sooner due to the weight of matches in the Football League. Championship team Sheffield Wednesday have apparently also registered their interest in the Merseyside-born man, though they may face similar issues to Fleetwood if they are to further their interest.
It seems that English football is losing patience with a player who once looked set for a glittering career at both club and international level after a controversy-ridden five years that have included a jail term and numerous FA charges following altercations with both opposition players and his own teammates.
A drop in form over the last twelve months hasn’t helped his cause in trying to stay in the Premier League and with his chances of moving to warmer climes dissipating he may have to continue to occupy his time interacting and mostly arguing with the Great British public (and Piers Morgan) as his hopes of appearing in blue and white hoops again appear to be over.
What next for Joey Barton? By Tom Maston