30 Aug 2012

QPR bad boy off to Marseille

5:50 am on 30 August 2012

Controversial English midfielder Joey Barton has reportedly travelled to Marseille in the hope of completing either a loan move or a permanent transfer to the French giants from Queens Park Rangers.

Earlier this week the 29-year-old wrote on his Twitter account that he was "en route to Marseille" and tweeted a picture of himself sitting on a plane.

After touching down at Marseille-Marignane airport early on Wednesday afternoon, he was taken to the club's Robert Louis-Dreyfus training centre to meet representatives from the club.

A club spokesperson says no agreement has yet been reached.

Marseille coach Elie Baup confirmed Barton's arrival but said: "I don't know if it will be finalised today.

Barton has a notoriously chequered past, having notably spent 74 days in prison in 2008 after being convicted of assault, but Baup dismissed concerns about his reputation.

Baup says a player with character is often necessary and he hopes Barton will bring this element of his character, on top of his individual talent.

Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, meanwhile, says the rest of the squad would do their best to help Barton integrate.

Marseille also confirmed the arrival of Brazilian defender Lucas Mendes.

Mendes, 22, is due to sign from Brazilian first division club Coritiba on a four-year contract for a reported fee of 3.9 million New Zealand dollars provided he passes a medical examination.