Joey Barton’s Queens Park Rangers career appears over after the club confirmed he was free to leave at the end of the season.
Midfielder Barton received a 12-match ban for his sending off and violent reaction on the last day of the 2011/12 season against Manchester City, and has since joined French side Marseille on loan.
QPR chief executive Philip Beard has said the club have “moved on” from their former captain, while also indicating any potential permanent move to Marseille depends on several factors between now and the end of the season.
“When you’re in any situation, particularly in football, you want the right mood and spirit in the squad. I think that’s what (manager) Mark Hughes wants,” he told reporters.
“We bought Joey when Neil Warnock was manager and we needed to bring players in. But the club has moved on.”
The former club captain was fined six weeks’ wages by QPR following the incident against City last season and stripped of the armband.
Despite seeking to cut ties with the former club captain, Beard suggested the midfielder can still be an asset for a team suited to his style.
“Joey is a good player and will do a job for the right team,” he said.
The chief executive also backed Hughes’ signings, suggesting he has formed a squad capable of dragging the west London strugglers off the foot of the English Premier League table.
“You look at who (Hughes) has brought in, his style both as a manager and a player. He has a squad who will work together and there is no player bigger than the team.”