Joey Barton plays down Everton talk

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QPR midfielder Joey Barton has dismissed rumours of a move to boyhood club Everton as he would prefer a return to French outfit Marseille.

The 30-year-old is currently training with the recently relegated west London side - though his time at Loftus Road looks to be at an end sometime soon. 

Though the midfielder still has two years left on a contract with QPR, he has been strongly linked with a move to boyhood club Everton. 

According to reports in the media, Barton's agent Willie McKay had already contacted Everton manager Roberto Martinez, currently on tour in the USA with his new squad. 

It was claimed that Barton is willing to take a pay cut to join the ranks of the Merseyside team.

The player himself had hinted at a move on Twitter, tweeting rather ambiguously: "Once a blue..." in order to push through a move to Everton.

However, Martinez is said to be chasing Wigan's James McCarthy, a player valued at £20million. 

Furthermore, Everton legend Neville Southall mocked Barton's hopes of a transfer to Everton, likening the midfielder to 'Forrest Gump', suggesting Martinez should stay clear of Barton.

The once-capped Barton has since told his followers on Twitter that he has no such intentions, instead claiming he prefers a move to Marseille, where he spent last season on loan.

Marseille are said to be keen to sign the player permanently ahead of their Champions League campaign, as they finished second in Ligue 1.

However, Barton's costly wages estimated to be around £70,000 a week at QPR are said to be putting the French outfit off of a deal, as they are prepared to offer only half of the midfielder's current wages.


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