Adel Taarabt is pleased to have signed a new deal at Queens Park Rangers so that speculation over his future and relationship with
The 23-year-old has long been linked with a move from Loftus Road and seemed destined to leave last northern summer or during the January transfer window.
Rumours over his future intensified recently when reports emanated suggesting the
Taarabt rubbished talk of a fall-out with the former QPR captain and hopes the fact he signed a new long-term deal until 2016 will allow him to focus on football.
"It is perfect for me to sign now," he told Press Association Sport. "Nobody is going to link me with another club.
"Now I can just focus on Queens Park Rangers and doing my best for this club.
"I don't know where this [Barton report] came from because I never [said that].
"When I saw that, I called the QPR press office straight away and said 'I never said that. We have to put out an article denying it'.
"I even called Joey and told him it was not true and had no problem with him.
"He has all the time helped me here. Sometimes he was hard with me but that is because we wants me to do good, so for me I don't have a problem with
While Barton will miss the first 12 games of the season through suspension, Taarabt is keen to hit the ground running.
The 23-year-old says he spent three weeks training intensely prior to pre-season beginning on Monday as he bids to avoid the difficult start he had to last season.
"Of course the first six months were difficult for me," Taarabt said. "I didn't score a goal and I was very frustrated.
"But after the African Nations Cup, when
"I worked harder for the team and I changed my game. With the work I did, it paid off."
Now Taarabt and QPR - which only avoided relegation on the final day of the season - are looking to bigger and brighter things.
The club plans to move to a state-of-the-art training complex next northern summer and an announcement is expected soon on a new stadium.
The Hoops have also been active in the transfer market, with
For Taarabt, it is hard to believe how far QPR has come since he turned two loan spells into a permanent transfer from Tottenham Hotspur in
Asked if he could have envisaged playing alongside the likes of Park when he first joined, he said: "No, not at all because when I signed we were in the Championship. I was not thinking of the Premier League.
"Even last year when we were there we were not thinking the club would have this ambition and sign players like
"We have a great manager and they want to improve so that is why I have taken the decision to sign a new long-term contract with Queens Park Rangers."
As well as signing a new deal, Taarabt has been handed the number 10 jersey at QPR - worn previously by the likes of
The move, which will see the vacated number seven shirt worn by new signing Park, has been welcomed by the
"I am very proud to wear that shirt," he said. "I am very happy to have this number.
"There is a little bit of pressure but it is good pressure."
English Premier League
Manchester United has announced that more than $300 million of its high-interest debt has been refinanced, cutting the club's interest costs by about $15 million a year.