Belfast Telegraph

Barton's number goes to Nelsen

Joey Barton was left without a squad number as QPR named their list for the new season.

The midfielder's old number 17 shirt was given to summer signing Ryan Nelsen who joined from Tottenham.

Barton must serve a 12-game ban to start the season after his dismissal in the final match of last season against his former club Manchester City, and he has been stripped of the club captaincy.

Summer speculation that the 29-year-old would be sold or loaned out has so far come to nothing, but the new QPR squad list, announced on the club's website, does little to suggest he has a future with the club.

Goalkeeper Rob Green has been handed the number one shirt, former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung will wear seven, with Adel Taarabt switching to 10.

Barton took to Twitter to express surprise regarding the loss of his squad number.

"Heard my shirt numbers gone to someone else. News to me..." he wrote. "Just come off the golf course so only just heard. A call would of [sic] been nice. Ah, well life goes on..."

Barton has been training with Fleetwood Town, the npower League Two newcomers, during pre-season and was linked with a loan move to the club.

It is understood the Football League would block the former Newcastle and Manchester City man joining one of its clubs on loan while his ban remains in place.

Barton was linked with a loan move to French giants Marseille by Sky Sports News, and Barton perhaps teasingly wished his Twitter followers "Bonne nuit" - French for "good night".

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