• Premier League

Hughes confirms desire to offload Barton

ESPN staff
August 18, 2012
Mark Hughes wants rid of Joey Barton © PA Photos

QPR manager Mark Hughes has confirmed that the club are hoping to loan out Joey Barton, amid preliminary interest from Marseille.

Barton, who served the first game of his ongoing 12-match suspension as QPR were beaten 5-0 against Swansea on Saturday, looked to be on course to leave the club after the Hoops declined to award him a squad number for the new campaign.

And Hughes has now admitted that the club hopes to offload the troublesome player on a temporary basis before the transfer window closes.

"Yes I think so," Hughes said. "I have had discussions on a number of occasions with Joey and the fact is he is not available for 12 games at the beginning of the season."

However, Hughes revealed that there were no firm offers on the table for the former Manchester City and Newcastle player, with Marseille having only made early enquiries about him.

"There has been interest shown by them but there has been no offer made and there has been a few e-mails sent back and forth but nothing concrete yet," Hughes said.

The manager also chose to clear up speculation about a previously proposed loan move to League Two side Fleetwood Town, with whom Barton has trained in pre-season. Some had suggested that it was an attempt to see Barton serve his suspension more quickly - due to the greater number of games Football League sides play in the early part of the campaign.

"I think there has been a lot of talk that we were trying to look at options to circumvent his loan which is completely false, we never tried to do that," he said. "Basically we were trying to look for a good option for Joey and ourselves.

"There are a number of options Joey didn't think were right for him and others that we thought weren't right for us as a club, so we hope there might be an opportunity for him to go to another club on loan but that has not developed as yet but may well do in the next few days."

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