Joey Barton Keen On Marseille Return

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Midfielder claims to have never held Everton interest.

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QPR outcast Joey Barton has dismissed the rumours linking him with a move to his boyhood club Everton by saying that he would be more interested in returning to French giants Marseille, Sky Sports reports.

The controversial midfielder spent last season on loan with the southern French club and has insisted that he would jump at the chance to go back and test himself in the Champions League.

Barton had reportedly been angling for a move to Everton earlier in the week after his agent, Willie McKay, intimated that the 30-year-old would be interested in going home to Merseyside.

However, he is thought to prefer a return to France, although QPR chief executive Phil Beard was quick to point out he remains their player and is back in pre-season training with the club.

“It’s well known who I support. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work that out,” Barton wrote on Twitter

“Good football agents will always be looking to move players, that’s how they make money.

“Recent rumours are slightly wide of the mark, everyone knows where I would like to end up, in France, playing in the Champions League for Olympique Marseille, nothing has changed my end.

“If not, I am contracted to QPR and will give my all to help them regain their Premier League status.

“If something happens and both clubs decide differently, than I will assess my options.”

The one-cap England man still has two years remaining on his current deal in west London and it is thought that his wage demands could put any potential move to Marseille on ice. He has asked for £3m to cancel the deal, and with Barton on £70,000 a week, the player would cost QPR £7m if he was to see out his contract at Loftus Road.

Marseille are said to be keen to have him back at the Stade Velodrome but believe it is up to Barton to negotiate a settlement with QPR before they make their move. The Ligue 1 side do not want to pay a fee for Barton though and are only prepared to offer him £30,000 a week.

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