Premier League - Barton could have joined Arsenal
Joey Barton has claimed he held talks with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before joining QPR.
New Rangers captain Barton believes his hopes of becoming a Gunners player were scuppered after he was involved in Gervinho's sending-off on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.
Playing what proved to be his final home match for Newcastle last month, Barton threw himself to the ground after clashing with Arsenal's new striker, who was shown a red card.
Midfielder Barton told BBC Sport: "If I hadn't played against Arsenal on the first day, I may have signed for them. There were a couple of conversations [with Wenger] but that's different to actually signing.
"The Gervinho incident happened and there's nothing I can do about it now. If it happened again, I'd like to think I'd deal with it differently.
"Things happen for a reason and there's a lesson to be learned from it. Right now, we sit above Arsenal in the table - hopefully that's the case in May."