Ambition of QPR impressed new signing Joey Barton

The controversial midfielder left Newcastle for the west London after spending a night thinking about the move.

Queens Park Rangers signed Joey Barton from Newcastle United yesterday as the manager, Neil Warnock, stepped up his recruitment drive following the takeover of the London club by Tony Fernandes.

Barton could be followed by Luke Young, the Aston Villa right-back, and the Manchester City winger, Shaun Wright-Phillip.

Midfielder Barton, 28, was in the final year of his contract at St James' Park and was made available on a free transfer after criticising Newcastle's recruitment policy via his Twitter account.

Barton passed a medical at QPR's training ground in Harlington on Thursday, but left without signing a deal, tweeting that he needed "some thinking time and space" before making a decision.

Having pondered the move overnight, Barton has now penned a deal with the club and could make his debut against Wigan Athletic today or at home to Newcastle after the international break.

"It's been quite a whirlwind, so to get things finally sorted and draw a line under it all is a great relief," he told the club's official website. "The ambition of the club really impressed me.

"The gaffer is talking about adding two or three more bodies and that, combined with the potential of the club and the new owners' ambitions, bodes really well for the future."

Barton becomes the first signing at QPR since Fernandes, the AirAsia boss, completed his takeover last week by becoming the majority shareholder at the club.

Fernandes immediately backed Warnock in the transfer market ,and the manager is delighted to get the first of the five new faces he hopes to bring to Loftus Road before Wednesday's deadline.

"We've got a very, very good player on our hands," he said of Barton. "He's coming here to show people what he can do. He wants to get back into the England team."

Alex McLeish, the Aston Villa manager, said he is looking to bring in a quick-fire replacement for Young. Villa accepted an undisclosed offer yesterday from QPR for the former England international, Young, 32.

"We have got a list of players," said McLeish. "We have to be ready with some names for the board."

Meanwhile, Wright-Phillips's agent, Wayne Lindsay, has confirmed that the winger, 29, will hold discussions with QPR over a potential move.

"There have been three bids accepted, one from QPR, and at some point he will be speaking to all those clubs," said Lindsay.

Published: August 27, 2011 04:00 AM

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