Marseille chief: Barton deal up to QPR
Marseille president Vincent Labrune has denied Joey Barton's claim that there is already a deal in place to keep the on-loan midfielder at the Stade Velodrome.
Shipped to the Ligue 1 club on a season-long loan by Queens Park Rangers last summer, Barton tweeted on Tuesday that "it's not up to QPR to decide if I stay. An agreement has already been reached for me to continue here".
However, Marseille supremo Labrune told 20 Minutes no such deal existed and it was the Premier League club's prerogative to dictate where Barton's future lies.
"We wouldn't be against the idea of keeping Joey Barton at OM, but we're not at all in a position to set the tempo,” Labrune said. “He belongs to QPR. He's a player who's on loan without a buy-out clause, so we absolutely don't have any say in the matter. There is, in any case, no such deal as Joey Barton has suggested."
Both parties have repeatedly stated their desire to prolong the former Manchester City and Newcastle United player's stay on the Mediterranean coast.
Relations between the French club and Barton have, however, seemingly cooled in the last week following his controversial tweets insulting Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva.