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Joey Barton: Only Fight With Gervinho Stopped Me From Joining Arsenal

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Queens Park Rangers captain Joey Barton claims he nearly signed for Arsenal, but his fight with Gervinho scuppered the deal.

The 29-year-old at the time was at Newcastle United and had been allowed to leave the club after a public row with the Magpies board.

Playing his final home match for the Toon on the opening day of the season, Barton threw himself to the ground after clashing with Arsenal’s new striker, who was shown a red card.

“If I hadn’t played against Arsenal on the first day, I may have signed for them,” Barton told the BBC.

“There were a couple of conversations (with Wenger) but that’s different to actually signing.

The strange thing about this turn of events is if Barton is telling the truth, it shows his pure stupidity as he ruined his only chance to ever play in the Champions League.

“The Gervinho incident happened and there’s nothing I can do about it now. If it happened again, I’d like to think I’d deal with it differently.

“Things happen for a reason and there’s a lesson to be learned from it. Right now, we sit above Arsenal in the table – hopefully that’s the case in May.”

Barton was made available on a free transfer by Newcastle this summer after the player criticised the way the club was being run on Twitter.

He added: “There were a couple of offers on the table but now I’m really happy to be at QPR and in London.

“We play an expansive and exciting brand of football and can hopefully surprise a few people this season.”

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