Joey Barton's claim that a deal has been agreed for him to become a permanent Marseille player has been denied by the club's president, according to reports.
Vincent Labrune was quoted as saying: "We would not be against the idea of keeping Joey Barton at OM [Olympique Marseille] but he belongs to QPR."
The statement comes just 36 hours after Barton posted a series of tweets saying that he would rather swap "The Championship" for Ligue 1 next season, as he denounced relegation-threatened Queen's Park Rangers.
Barton tweeted: "Some people think I'll be playing in the Championship next season?? Good one! QPR might, I wont." he declared. "It's not up to QPR if I stay. Agreement already in place for me to stay here. Can't see QPR wanting my wage bill.
"I'm loving life in France. Loving Marseille. All I want to do is give everything for this football club. They backed me when nobody else did, for that I will be eternally grateful."
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes also used Twitter in what is ostensibly a response to Barton's allegations: "For the record QPR players cannot decide where they play. They are under CONTRACT."
Barton also criticised former manager Mark Hughes in his rant, despite stating that he ultimately wishes QPR to stay up: "My QPR career was over when they decided to listen to the footballing sage, Mark of Hughes."
The former Rangers captain joined Marseille in August while he was serving a 12-match suspension, acquired for his behaviour during the decisive last game of the 2011/12 Premier League season against Manchester City.
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