QPR midfielder Joey Barton keen to stay at Marseille

 

QPR midfielder Joey Barton would like to stay at Marseille for the rest of his career.

The controversial former England international is on a season-long loan at the Ligue 1 club and will be eligible to make his league debut against Lille next weekend after the end of a 12-match ban given to him by the English Football Association.

Barton was suspended following his actions and sending off against Manchester City while playing for QPR at the end of last season, but has since played in the Europa League for OM and scored his first goal for the club in the 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach earlier this month.

"I don't know if I'll stay. It's not my decision. It's between QPR and Marseille. If it was my choice, I'd stay here for the rest of my career," Barton told RMC Radio.

"I love this place and I've got a great relationship with people here, the coaching staff, the players and the fans. I feel right at home.

"Coming to Marseille is one of the best decisions I've taken. I'm very happy to be here. And not only for the weather, which is fantastic. In England it's very cold. In Marseille the weather's really good."

The 30-year-old former Manchester City and Newcastle player is now keen to make more of an impact in France and believes OM have a great chance of lifting the Ligue 1 title this season.

"I've been lucky because I've been able to play Europa League football. I'm progressing slowly," Barton said.

"I need matches. It's in playing matches that you improve physically. My career at Marseille has started well but I came here to succeed and show French football fans what English football spirit is.

"I think we've got a chance of winning the title and five or six clubs are capable of winning it. The league is very tight this season.

"The team that's strongest mentally could win the title. I play for OM and we've got a team that could win the championship.

"PSG (Paris Sr Germain) have a great team with good players. With their financial strength who can say they won't spend another billion pounds in January?

"They have the means to do that. At OM we've got to take each game as it comes. We don't have a large squad.

"If we finish in front of PSG then that would be great. I came here to have a great season. Any team finishing in front of PSG will have had a good season."

PA

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