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03 March 2024

QPR boss denies talk of Barton exit

Joey Barton missed the Newcastle match because of suspension. (FILE)


New QPR manager Mark Hughes has slammed reports he is ready to sell club captain Joey Barton.

Several Sunday newspapers in England claimed that Hughes, who took over at Loftus Road on Tuesday, is willing to off-load former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder Barton.

Barton - signed by previous manager Neil Warnock - was suspended as Hughes' side lost 1-0 at Newcastle on Sunday, but the QPR chief is adamant he wants to keep his controversial midfielder.

"I saw that (the Barton story) and I think it's one of those maybe mischief-making Sunday stories," he said.

"From my point of view, there's certainly no suggestion that we are thinking in those terms.

"He is captain of the club, I have re-iterated that this week. Joey is a quality player and we are looking to bring quality in, not to get those type of players out of the building."

QPR have been linked with a host of signings since the January transfer window opened, with Chelsea defender Alex and Blackburn centre-back Christopher Samba both on the club's wanted list.

Hughes added: "It's fair to say we are in the market for good players if they become available and if they are attainable.

"If there's quality available then we'll pursue that but they have to be the right players and they have to be the players who can come in and make a major impact because otherwise there's no point bringing them."

Asked about Congo star Samba, Hughes added: "It's common knowledge we've put in a bid for Chris Samba. We have a number of players we would like to bring to the club. We'll have to wait and see."