Stephane Mbia in, Joey Barton out at QPR
Queens Park Rangers confirmed the signing of versatile midfielder or defender Stephane Mbia on a two-year deal from Marseille for an undisclosed fee, while QPR's Joey Barton joined Marseille on a season-long loan.
Barton was handed and then retained the captain's armband at Loftus Road last season when Mark Hughes took charge, but the controversial midfielder's relationship with the club turned sour on the last day of the 2011-12 campaign at the Etihad Stadium.
Barton lashed out at three City players, earning him a 12-match ban.
Barton thanked QPR on Twitter for giving him the opportunity to join Marseille.
"I am now a player for L'OM. What a birthday present! Cannot wait to get going. #allezL'OM," tweeted Barton, who turns 30 on Sunday. "Would like to thank (agent) Willie Mckay, (Marseille sporting director) Jose Anigo and (chairman) Vincent Lebrune aka Mr President for making it happen. #allezmarseille
"I would also like to thank (QPR owner) @tonyfernandes and (chief executive) @Amit_Bhatia99 for making this possible. Good luck to everyone at QPR for this season. ... I am happy to be playing for such a massive European club like Marseille. Bonne nuit xx"
Barton had launched a series of tirades against the club via Twitter after he was forced to train with the youth team, but he appears to be leaving the west London club on good terms.
Although Hughes has endured a rocky relationship with Barton, the Welshman would not rule out seeing the 29-year-old pull on a QPR shirt again after his loan at the Stade Velodrome ends.
"We looked him possibly coming back in January but now it seems he prefers to go out a little bit longer," Hughes said Friday. "He's still got two more years after that. We'll see what happens. He wants to play and needs to play and isn't going to take lightly to staying here and helping the development squad."
Mbia, a Cameroon international who can play in defense or midfield, has signed a two-year deal at Loftus Road, and is looking forward to testing himself in the Barclays Premier League after spending eight years in Ligue 1.
"It was an easy decision because this is an important move for my career," he said. "It has always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League, which I believe is the best league in the world. The ambitions of the club and what the board of directors and the manager want to achieve here excites me greatly. I am so happy and enthusiastic about what the future holds here and can't wait to be part of this exciting project."
Despite having a bid accepted for Michael Dawson last week, QPR was unable to lure the Tottenham defender across London before Friday's deadline.
The only other bit of business at the west London club saw Jay Bothroyd join Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on loan until January.
Information from Press Association was used in this report.