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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Marseille to extend Barton stay

Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo is hoping to begin talks with QPR in the coming weeks over an extension to Joey Barton's current contract with the Ligue 1 side.

Joey Barton celebrates netting Marseille's equaliser against Monchengladbach, making a bee-line for coach Elie Baup
Barton has become a regular at Marseille

Barton, 30, joined Marseille on a season-long loan deal in the summer and has worked his way into the starting line-up after impressing coach Elie Baup.

With current team-mate Loic Remy and Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila set to join Rangers this week, it is unlikely Harry Redknapp will require Barton next season.

Despite the midfielder's tendency to make more headlines off the field than on it , evident in his recent Twitter spat with Didi Hamann, Barton is very much a wanted figure at Marseille.

"We have very good relations with QPR and extending the loan could be on the cards," Anigo said. "He likes it in Marseille, he loves this city, which breathes football.

"We haven’t started the discussions yet with QPR but he’s a likable lad and we want to keep him, although we have no guarantees. He has a good attitude. He’s a good professional in his work and in his day-to-day commitment.

"A lot of French players should take their example from him, he’s a hard worker and a competitor who knows all about sweat. What he represents out on the pitch pleases our fans, he’s combative and he gives a lot."

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