Transfer news: Joey Barton refuses to rise to Neville Southall's bait and also cools talk of a move to Everton despite agent's comments

Midfielder calls Southall a 'hero' and says he has the 'utmost respect' for the former goalkeeper who had likened him to Forrest Gump after rumours of a move to Goodison Park

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has refused to react to Everton legend Neville Southall’s criticism of the 30-year-old, and has also played down talks that he is seeking a move to Goodison Park.

Barton’s agent Willie McKay admitted yesterday that he had contacted Everton manager Roberto Martinez over a transfer to the club, which Barton supported as a young boy, claiming that he was willing to take up to a 50 per cent wage cut in order to join them.

McKay also said that Martinez was interested in a move for Barton, but Southall likened the player to Forrest Gump when speaking on the matter, saying: "Yes he is fit and runs up and down all day but Forrest Gump did that as well didn't he?”

But Barton took to Twitter to respond to the comments, and spoke of his admiration for Southall despite his criticism as well as his preference to remain with Marseille before the deal collapsed.

“Big @NevilleSouthall has given it to me I see. Gutted, he was one of my hero's growing up. Best keeper in the world at 1 stage,” he said on his official Twitter account.

“Am not getting after him. Regardless, of what he thinks of me. I will always have the utmost respect for the player he was. #legend.”

Barton also added his thoughts on the speculation regarding his agent’s attempts to force through a move away from Loftus Road.

"It's well known who I support. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work that out," he 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.

"No matter what happens, I intend to enjoy my football and play with a smile on my face. Again, wherever that maybe. Careers are too short.

"Hope that clears my situation up for everyone. Stop listening to all the tittle-tattle.

Barton summed up with a quote from the film Southall had compared him to, posting: “After all, Life is like a box of chocolates...”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory