The new R's skipper, who was put up for transfer by Newcastle United in the summer, said he spoke with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger but then the Gunners and Magpies clashed on the opening day of the season.
In that match, Barton tangled with Gervinho, which ended in the Arsenal new boy being sent off and the 28-year old midfielder has indicated that perhaps it's the reason why he is not at the Emirates Stadium now.
"If I hadn't played against Arsenal on the first day, I may have signed for them," he told BBC Sport.
"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.
"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."