QPR manager Mark Hughes admits it is likely Joey Barton will be loaned out to another club - but denies a deal has already been struck with French side Marseille.
Former Hoops captain Barton will miss the opening 12 games of the season after his red card and subsequent violent conduct at Manchester City on the final day of last term.
Reports have linked the 29-year-old midfielder with a shock move to the South of France after he was sidelined by Rangers.
Barton took part in pre-season training with League Two side Fleetwood Town and this week was stripped of his squad number by Hughes.
And the Welshman confirmed the Ligue 1 club have made an initial approach for Barton.
When asked if the player was likely to leave on loan, Hughes said: "Yes I think so. I have had discussions on a number of occasions with Joey and the fact is he is not available for 12 games at the beginning of the season."
He added: "There has been interest shown by Marseille but there has been no offer made. There has been a few e-mails sent back and forth but nothing concrete yet."
Hughes also dismissed speculation that Barton was set for a temporary spell at Fleetwood to serve his lengthy suspension over a shorter period.
"I think there has been a lot of talk that we were trying to look at options to circumvent his loan which is completely false, we never tried to do that," he said.
"Basically we were trying to look for a good option for Joey and ourselves.
"There are a number of options Joey didn't think were right for him and others that we thought weren't right for us as a club.
"We hope there might be an opportunity for him to go to another club on loan but that has not developed as yet but may well do in the next few days."