Joey Barton told Goals On Sunday that he is open to remaining at QPR – insisting “why wouldn’t I want to stay?”
The midfielder has had a fractious relationship with the London club and appeared on the brink of an unceremonious departure after enjoying a loan spell at Marseille before re-establishing himself last season.
“It’s well-documented what has gone on in the last 12 months but before that I was almost certain that I wasn’t going to be there," Barton told Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara. "The rapport with everyone at the football club and the fans wasn’t ideal,
“Then there’s been this insane turnaround and I feel really settled, really comfortable, I’m really enjoying my football and really enjoying being there.
“I think it was a process of them learning a bit about me and me obviously changing a little bit of my style. But also me learning a lot about them.”
A 12-match ban following a red card for violent conduct against Manchester City on the final day of the 2011/12 season prompted a loan switch to France the following year which seemingly spelt the end of Barton’s QPR career.
"But he enjoyed a remarkable return last season, playing a vital role in their promotion from the Championship.
“The connection we made over the course of last year accumulating at Wembley and the atmosphere in and around that was something I’ll take with me for the rest of my days.
“I’d love to [sign a new contract]. I’m settled – I’m settled in the area, it’s a lovely area. My family’s settled, I’ve got a young family.
“I love playing for the club and I enjoy going to work. I think I’m improving as a player, we’re back in the Premier League, why wouldn’t I want to stay?
“But that’s out of my hands, I don’t bother myself with that anymore. There’s people with the job to do that and I’m really focusing on the next game.
“I’ve been fortunate that I’ve always made connections at football clubs that I’ve been at. I’ve always had a good rapport with fans whether that be at City – albeit not so great now!
“Newcastle, I still have fond memories and will definitely enjoy going back there, that’s one of the things I’m looking forward to this year. Going back to St. James’ Park because it’s a place I love playing football and miss dearly.
“Marseille, obviously, I had a great rapport and one of the blots on my copybook was that I never saw eye-to-eye with the QPR fans so to get the chance to put that right, for me, has been really cathartic and something I’m really proud of.”
Barton also paid tribute to Glenn Hoddle ,who has joined QPR’s coaching staff and helped install the team’s 3-5-2 formation in their 1-0 loss to Hull on Saturday.
“He’s got a really interesting insight into the game," said Barton.
"Nobody needs to build him up, he’s been England manager of one of the last decent sides we’ve had in France ’98 – a team with a legitimate shot of winning a World Cup.
“I think it can only bode well for us. There’s a few things he said this week on the training ground – a fresh pair of eyes and a fresh voice. He’s livened the place up and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of Glenn in the next few months.
“He’s only been in a week and he’s still observing and putting a few little pointers across. On the training ground it’s been a massive positive.”
On his experienced new team-mate Rio Ferdinand, Barton added: “He’s a top player and with the career he’s had he could easily have walked away with his head held high.
“It’s a testament to the man and the player that he still thinks he’s got a lot to give.”