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The former captain of the west London club looks to be heading towards the exit door at Loftus Road after summer signing Ryan Nelsen was handed the midfielder's shirt

Joey Barton faces an uncertain future as a QPR player after Mark Hughes opted to not give the former captain a squad number for the upcoming season, consquently leaving him out of his first-team squad.

With the controversial midfielder unavailable for the first 12 games of the season due to a suspension incurred for violent conduct on the last day of the previous campaign, Hughes has decided to omit him from his options for the first half of the season.

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All summer there had been speculation regarding the 29-year-old's future, who, after being stripped of the QPR captaincy during the break, was expected to leave either on loan or on a permanent basis. He had trained briefly with Fleetwood Town but a temporary switch to the League Two team was subsequently ruled out, with Ligue 1 side Marseille another reported possibility.

Known for his outspoken nature, Barton reacted to the development on his Twitter page, writing: "Heard my shirt numbers gone to someone else. News to me. Just come off the golf course so only just heard. A call would of been nice. Ah, well life goes on."

Other notable exclusions from the squad including the likes of DJ Campbell, Jay Bothroyd, Luke Young and Tommy Smith, all of whom will be expected to leave Loftus Road imminently.

Goalkeeper Rob Green has been handed the No.1 shirt, while former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung will wear No.7, and Adel Taarabt is the Hoops' No.10.