Joey Barton is claiming in his book that he was almost signed by Arsenal before he got Gervinho sent off and Arsene Wenger said he would never play for the club.

This isn’t the first time that Barton has said this.

A player who is better in his own head than he is on the pitch, spoke about the incident back in 2011, at which time he said, “If I hadn’t played against Arsenal, I may have signed for them.

“There were a couple of conversations [with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger] but that’s different to actually signing.

“The Gervinho incident happened and there’s nothing I can do about it now. If it happened again, I’d like to think I’d deal with it differently.

“Things happen for a reason and there’s a lesson to be learned from it. Right now we sit above Arsenal in the table – hopefully that’s the case in May.”

Now, in his book, No Nonsense: The Autobiography, he has a slightly different version of events. He said,  “I signed for QPR on the rebound from Arsenal. Pat Rice, Arsene Wenger’s assistant, had told Peter Kay they fancied me.

“A meeting with me was in the manager’s diary for the first Tuesday of the new season. He had the perfect opportunity to monitor my form three days before that, in what was to be my penultimate appearance for Newcastle, a goal-less draw against his team at St James’ Park.

“Maybe word of my potential move had filtered through to the away dressing room.

“They queued up to have a dig, and referee Peter Walton missed Alex Song’s stamp on me.

“If there was to be no red carpet, I made sure there was going to be a red card by going down like a sack of spuds when Gervinho slapped me. His outrage, on being sent off, was worth my booking.

“Rice sent Pete a text soon after: ‘Arsene says Joey will never play for this club.'”

I can’t, honestly, understand what could have possibly been going through Arsene Wenger’s head when he was considering signing Barton but thankfully it never happened.

Could you imagine having to support that toerag?

Barton, 34, is currently under suspension from Rangers after a ‘training ground disagreement.’

He was expected to return from suspension on Monday, but the club have extended his ban for a further week with his future at Ibrox still the subject of much speculation after just two months and five league appearances.

A statement from Rangers, said, “Joey Barton has been informed that his suspension by the club has been extended by one week.

“This is part of a formal disciplinary procedure and Joey has been instructed not return to Ibrox or Auchenhowie until further notice.”