Wenger never bid for Barton
Gunners boss denies ever being in for midfielder over the summer
Last Updated: December 31, 2011 11:24am
Joey Barton: Claims he came close to joining Arsenal before ending up at QPR
Arsene Wenger has refuted claims from Joey Barton that he came close to signing for Arsenal over the summer.
Having found himself forced towards the exits at Newcastle, Barton was made available as a free agent.
The Gunners were reported to be among those keen on the combative midfielder before he eventually ended up at Queens Park Rangers.
After completing a move to Loftus Road, Barton said he had held a 'couple of conversations' with Wenger about a switch to Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners boss has moved to dismiss those comments, though, by pointing out that Barton's past record in games with Arsenal would have made it virtually impossible for a deal to be done - with the 29-year-old having been involved incidents which have seen Abou Diaby and Gervinho sent off.
Ahead of a meeting with Barton and QPR on Saturday, Wenger said: "I didn't try to sign him. I don't know why he says that.
"Certainly it's not linked to him directly, as I've never spoken to him directly.
"The agents always call you up and offer you players.
"What they report back to their players afterwards is something I don't master.
"I cannot stop him from talking. I don't want to come out on that because we had the incident at Newcastle last season.
"We had the incident with Diaby, Mr Phil Dowd as well. He will play for QPR and good luck to him."