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Queens Park Rangers’ Joey Barton….next stop? Stoke City?

Joey Barton announced to Twitter Tuesday morning that his “dream loan move” to Marseille was off and that he had been forced to train with the kids again.

What next for the Huyton born midfielder who just can’t seem to settle wherever it is he ends up, his spell at his first club Manchester City was littered with off the field issues, including a 4 month suspended prison sentence and 39 bookings and 3 red cards.

At St James Park he looked like he found a home after the club stood by him after he received a 6 month prison sentence for assault but he soon criticised the board (rightly or wrongly depending on what side of the fence you sit) and was given a free transfer after contract negotiations broke down numerous times.

Then he arrives in W12 and it seems that in Neil Warnock, he has found a manager that rates him, who promptly makes him skipper and Barton seems to have found a spiritual home here in the capital surrounded by culture and in his words has a chance at “a fresh start”.

Warnock lasts only until the New Year and Mark Hughes is bought in as the QPR board fear relegation in their first season back in the big time, at first Hughes backs Barton and says he will remain skipper but poor form strikes with Barton describing his performance against Liverpool as “the worst I’ve ever played in my career” and he critics the QPR fans on Twitter saying they should stick by the team not boo them.

Then comes the 13th May, QPR v Man City, we all know the story, the mist comes down and Barton elbows Tevez, knees Aguero, tries to head butt Kompany as he is marched from the field by QPR coaches and then receives a 12 match ban from the FA and fined 6 weeks wages by QPR.

Barton then tells the world via Twitter that he wants out of West London after not being given a squad number and in his words “hawked about to other clubs on loan”, but to where next?….

Would any manager take a chance on Barton?, is he worth the potential (and some would say inevitable) trouble that he brings.

He is undoubtedly a talented player with a great work rate and with the ability to pass the ball and be more than a water carrier, he clearly has a drive and a passion that makes him a valuable asset if his head is right but more often than not, it isn’t.

Who will be the next manager to give Barton another chance, Big Sam maybe? Barton is big chums with Nolan and West Ham need some quality in their midfield would also mean Barton gets to stay in London.

Stoke’s Tony Pullis likes a bargain and reforming a bad boy and Joey Barton certainly suits his work ethic but his wages could be a stumbling block as Stoke are not in the QPR money league.

Whoever it is that takes Barton on will need broad shoulders and not be afraid to take some flack but could pick up a quality midfielder who despite some baggage can still do a fantastic job in the top flight in England and abroad.

Barton’s agent is now trying to say the deal could be back on, where Barton ends up, should be sorted by Friday!

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