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Oct 9, 2011

Barton baffled by Hill-Wood

QPR midfielder Joey Barton believes there must be a severe communication breakdown at Arsenal after chairman Peter Hill-Wood denied the player's claims Arsene Wenger expressed an interest in his services.

• Van Persie: My future is private
• Hill-Wood plays down Barton claims
• Barton: Gervinho spat scuppered move
• Wenger hails Barton for courage

Newcastle made Barton available on a free transfer in the summer, and he said last month that he spoke to Wenger about a potential move to the Emirates. The spat with Gervinho when Arsenal visited St James' Park, Barton suggested, ended any prospect of the move.

Hill-Wood then came out to play down Barton's claims, saying the board had not been informed of any interest, but Barton feels that is symptomatic of the troubles at the club.

"Peter Hill-Wood said they never had any serious interest in me," he said in the Sunday Mirror. "I just don't understand. The dialogue between him and his coaching staff has broken down so severely that he doesn't know what's going on at his football club.

"I don't know [why Hill-Wood said that]. Fair enough if I was claiming to sign for Real Madrid or Barcelona or Manchester City or Manchester United, but I don't think it's that big of a shout to say Arsenal were after me because it's definitely a club in - what shall I say? - transition.

"Financially, they have put themselves in a great position but I don't know what's happening there. I don't understand. You look at Arsenal and you think, 'Well, they obviously have an abundance of money'.

"Their stadium is almost paid for. I would say, financially, they are the most well-run club in the league, barring Manchester City."

Barton feels, having watched the Gunners' 2-1 victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League, that they have faded significantly since their glory days under Wenger.

"I watched them the other day," he said. "It's a very different side from that great team they had with Petit and Vieira. If I was an Arsenal fan... well.

"It's nothing to do with me because it's not my football club but, even so, I like to see those great English sides do well. I remember watching the Champions League and Arsenal against Olympiakos at home was a shoo-in, four or five-nil win for Arsenal, but they made hard work of it. But this is the game we're in."

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