Veteran midfielder Joey Barton has thanked Hammers supporters for kind words in the wake of his failed move to the club.

The former Manchester City and Marseille man was close to joining the Irons as the season started, and had entered contract talks with the club following his release from QPR.

But the club had pulled out of a deal for the former Newcastle captain, thanks surely in no small part to the emergence of 16-year-old Reece Oxford against Arsenal.

Barton would have doubtless had to compete with the teenager for a place in the side.

In a Youtube video, Barton said: “I would just like to thank the West Ham fans for a lot of kind words on social media.

“Obviously with a character like myself there’s always one or two who are not so kind or complimentary – that’s kind of par for the course with me these days.

“I felt that West Ham as a football club certainly would have been a good fit for me.

“The Boleyn Ground is a ground I have always enjoyed playing at – it’s a very knowledgeable crowd and they are really passionate about the football team.

“I wish them all the best for the future.”

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