Joey Barton: Gervinho incident cost me Arsenal move
Joey Barton claims his involvement in midfielder's red card scuppered any chance of a move to The Emirates
Joey Barton has revealed he was close to joining Arsenal in the summer, claiming that his involvement in Gervinho’s sending off in Newcastle’s clash with the Gunners on the first day of the season ended any chance of a move to The Emirates.
Barton was criticised for going to ground too easily as Gervinho was red-carded by referee Peter Walton in the second half during the goalless draw.
The 29-year-old midfielder was eventually offloaded to Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer following a Twitter outburst at way the St James’ Park club was being run.
“If I hadn’t played against Arsenal on the first day, I may have signed for them,” said Barton. “There were a couple of conversations [with Arsenal manager Arsène 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.”
He added: “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.”
However, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has dismissed Barton’s claims that a move to north London was close, claiming that he knew nothing of any potential deal.
“It’s not something the board heard about and if it was a serious proposition I certainly would have expected us to,” said Hill-Wood.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed QPR captain insists he is delighted to be at Loftus Road despite claiming to have received other offers during the transfer window.
“There were a couple of offers on the table but now I’m really happy to be at QPR and in London,” said Barton. “We play an expansive and exciting brand of football and can hopefully surprise a few people this season.”