Barton reveals he held Arsenal talks

Updated: 22 September 2011 09:39 IST

QPR captain Joey Barton claims he held talks with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger about a move to the Emirates Stadium before signing for Neil Warnock's team.

Barton reveals he held Arsenal talks
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London:

QPR captain Joey Barton claims he held talks with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger about a move to the Emirates Stadium before signing for Neil Warnock's team.

Barton joined QPR on a free transfer from Newcastle just before the transfer deadline but he believes he could have ended up in north London instead if he had not clashed with Gunners forward Gervinho on the opening day of the season.

The former Manchester City star provoked a clash with Gervinho that led to the Ivory Coast player being sent off during Newcastle's 0-0 draw against Arsenal at St James' Park.

Barton dragged Gervinho to his feet after he appeared to dive in the penalty area and the midfielder then made a theatrical fall after being pushed by the Arsenal star.

Barton is sure that ended any hopes of joining Arsenal and he told BBC Sport: "If I hadn't played against Arsenal on the first day, I may have signed for them.

"There were a couple of conversations with Wenger but that's different to actually signing.

"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 learnt from it. Right now, we sit above Arsenal in the table -- hopefully that's the case in May."

Barton says he had several clubs interested in him after he was made available on a free transfer by Newcastle for criticising the way the club was being run.

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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