Joey Barton reveals talks with Arsenal

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The Independent Online

Joey Barton has claimed he held talks with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before joining QPR.

New Rangers captain Barton believes his hopes of becoming a Gunners player were scuppered after he was involved in Gervinho's sending-off on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.

Playing what proved his final home match for Newcastle last month, Barton threw himself to the ground after clashing with Arsenal's new striker, who was shown a red card.

Midfielder Barton 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 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."

Meanwhile, fellow Rangers new boy DJ Campbell has revealed he is still not fully recovered from a virus and promised even more goals after scoring his first for the club.

Campbell was sidelined for a month after making his debut for his boyhood idols against Bolton on the opening day of the season.

But the summer capture from Blackpool came off the bench in last Monday's game against Newcastle and did the same at Wolves on Saturday, netting his side's third goal at Molineux.

"Injuries are tough enough to take, but missing out due to illness is even worse," Campbell told his club's official website, www.qpr.co.uk.

"I felt a bit below par before the Bolton game but I played through it. It got really bad after that game though and I felt really weak.

"I'm nowhere near 100% yet, but I'm slowly but surely feeling stronger by the day and the best is definitely yet to come from me."

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