Joey Barton

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Barton could Stay at Marseille

Joey Barton’s continued success at French side Olympique de Marseille may extend into the 2013/14 season following club sporting director Jose Angio’s statement he wants to keep the midfielder after his loan expires in June.

Betfair Football markets suggest Barton now stay at the club after becoming a real presence in the centre of Marseille’s midfield since his comeback from a 12-match domestic ban. On his Ligue 1 debut he helped Marseille topple champions Lille 1-0 at home and has since gone on to make 12 appearances already this season.

So influential has Barton been to the French club’s dressing room that Angio is eyeing up extending the relationship with the Englishman past next summer.

“He was described as an animal, but he is just the opposite. He is funny, intelligent, and he fights for victory,” Anigo said to French newspaper L’Equipe.

“We can see that the team has been lifted by his competitive spirit. He is now established as a leader in our group. He is very happy here, maybe he has found the right club for him. Should he desire [to stay] it could be very good.”

Indeed, there is no reason for Barton not to stay at Marseilles past the end of this season for he has little left at QPR to come back to. His parent club are currently battling it out for Premier League survival and Betfair Football markets put them as favourites to be relegated.

Barton has escaped the intense media spotlight in France and is on course to play a major role in Marseille’s push for the Ligue 1 title. They currently sit third on 38 points, with just PSG and Lyon above them on goal difference, and Barton could be the difference between title success and failure both this season and next.

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