QPR manager Harry Redknapp says that he would welcome midfielder Joey Barton back to the club, but he thinks that the glamorous lifestyle the midfielder leads in France will keep him at Marseille next season.
The controversial Englishman joined the Ligue 1 club on loan from the Rs in the summer and has impressed during 28 appearances in all competitions. While Redknapp admits that he would be happy to see the 30-year-old return to Loftus Road, the Rs boss believes that Barton will want to extend his stay in the South of France.
"Joe's done excellent at Marseille," Redknapp told reporters. "He's had a great season for them. He's a good player but I would think if you saw where Joey lives in Marseille it would be very difficult to get him back here.
"You drive past the mountains and see all those big boats. He's got a nice lifestyle there so I would be surprised if he wanted to come back. He would be a good player for you, for sure.
"I'm not saying I don't want Joey back, he belongs to the club. If he has to come back, he has to come back. I get the feeling with Joey he probably wants to stay there, otherwise he will come back and I'm sure he will do well here."
Despite QPR's perilous position – the Rs are 10 points off Premier League safety with just four games left to play – Redknapp has urged his players to "keep playing" and show him of what they are made.
"We've got to keep going. It’s a difficult situation but we've got to keep playing," Redknapp said. "I'm looking at people as well, with next year in mind, and they've all got a lot of play for.
"It's difficult now but we want to pick up as many points as we can. The last few games have knocked us out a bit and it's been disappointing but we've got to keep going.
"People think you're going to go back down and come straight back up but look at that division. It's full of quality, tradition and big clubs. It will be very difficult to come back up – that's the aim – but you're not going to do it by just dreaming."
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation