Hill-Wood denies Barton Arsenal claims

Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood has moved to deny claims made by Joey Barton that he held talks with Arsene Wenger about a prospective move to the North London side.

Barton, who subsequently moved to London rivals QPR, insinuated that he might have joined the Gunners had he not been involved in the opening day clash with Gervinho when he was with former club Newcastle United.

The 29-year-old’s action saw the Ivory Coast international sent off on his Premier League debut after going down easily following a fracas with the former Lille star.

The QPR captain believes the incident was vital in Wenger’s decision to not pursue his interest in bringing him to Emirates Stadium.

However, Hill-Wood has moved to counter-claim the former Manchester City trainee’s remarks, insisting he had no knowledge of the manager attempting to bring in the tenacious midfielder.

“It's not something the board heard about and if it was a serious proposition I certainly would have expected us to,” Hill-Wood said, as reported by the Daily Star.

Barton claimed on Wednesday that: “If I hadn't played against Arsenalhttp://static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif on the first day, I may have signed for them.

“There were a couple of conversations [with 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.”

Arsenal, along with rivals Tottenham Hotspur and boyhood club Everton, were all credited with an interest when Newcastle confessed he could leave on a free transfer.