Joey Barton claims Gervinho incident stopped Arsenal move

New Queens Park Rangers captain Joey Barton claims he was very close to joining Arsenal last month.

The midfielder, a Newcastle player at the time, said an incident in the 0-0 draw with the Gunners which led to Gervinho's dismissal ended his hopes of a move to the Emirates.

Barton, 29, was criticised for going to ground too easily as Gervinho was red-carded by referee Peter Walton.

"If I hadn't played against Arsenal, I may have signed for them," Barton said.

"There were a couple of conversations [with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger] but that's different to actually signing.

JOEY BARTON'S CAREER STATS

Joey Barton

Manchester City, 2002-2007

130 appearances, 15 goals

Newcastle United, 2007-2011

81 appearances, 7 goals

Queens Park Rangers, 2011-

2 appearances, 1 goal

"The Gervinho incident happened and there's nothing I can do about it now. If it happened again, I'd like to think I'd deal with it differently.

"Things happen for a reason and there's a lesson to be learned from it. Right now we sit above Arsenal in the table - hopefully that's the case in May."

QPR are currently ninth in the Premier League table with seven points, with Arsenal down in 17th after collecting just four points from five games.

Barton was made available on a free transfer by Newcastle after the player criticised the way the club was being run on Twitter  .

He played two games for Newcastle this season - against Arsenal  and Sunderland - before making his QPR debut against his former club on 12 September.

Barton said: "There were a couple of offers on the table but now I'm really happy to be at QPR and in London.

"We play an expansive and exciting brand of football and can hopefully surprise a few people this season."

Barton was in the news earlier this week for claiming Karl Henry was an "idiot" and "inferior"  after clashing with the Wolves midfielder during QPR's 3-0 Premier League victory at Molineux.

Henry responded by calling Barton, who began his professional career with Manchester City and has made one appearence for England, "embarrassing".