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Barton punched during night out

Police have confirmed that QPR midfielder Joey Barton was attacked outside a nightclub in Liverpool during the early hours of Monday.

Barton, sent off in the final game of last season against Manchester City, was reportedly punched in the face during the incident - which happened outside Garlands nightclub in Liverpool City centre.

Merseyside Police confirmed the incident is being investigated, and two 21-year-olds have been arrested on related matters.

"Merseyside Police were called to Eberle Street in Liverpool city centre at 5.30am this morning following reports of an altercation," said a spokeswoman for Merseyside Police. "On arrival officers found a 29-year-old man who had sustained injuries to his face. The man left the scene voluntarily.

"Two 21-year-old men from the L13 area were arrested at the scene for a public order offence. They are currently in police custody."

Barton - who has long been a polarising figure - was recently banned for 12 matches for his conduct before and after his dismissal against Manchester City, amid reports that QPR will now look to offload him during the summer.

Barton later took to Twitter to confirm he would not press charges, playing down the event and also thanking the police for their help in the matter.

"I got sucker punched in the back of the head," he wrote. "Not injured as reported just a small bruise on rear of head/ear. I've had worse. Life goes on! Thanks for the concern. Have a good day people.

"Not planning on pressing charges as its not that serious. The police have also got better things to do with their time.

"Can I just say a public thanks to the police last night as they were and have been today brilliant."