Barton set for Marseille loan

Marseille have approached Queens Park Rangers about the possibility of taking suspended midfielder Joey Barton on a season-long loan deal.

It is understood Barton is aware of the interest from France and is willing to move to the Ligue 1 club.

The terms of any proposed loan have yet to be finalised but further talks are planned in the next 24 hours.

The news comes after QPR failed to issue the 29-year-old with a squad number for the new season.

His number 17 shirt was given to summer signing Ryan Nelsen, who joined from Tottenham.

Barton starts a 12-game ban when the season opens on Saturday and recently trained at League Two Fleetwood Town.

The midfielder said on Twitter: “Just come off the golf course so only just heard. A call would have been nice. Ah, well life goes on…”

He did, however, sign off with a tweet that offered a mischievous hint as to his likely future. “Early night for me people. Bonne nuit …”

Barton was sent off in the final match of last season against his former club Manchester City and, after being dismissed, kicked Sergio Aguero before trying to headbutt Vincent Kompany.

Rangers fined Barton six weeks’ wages and stripped him of the club captaincy, as well as leaving him out of the squad for their pre-season tour of Malaysia.