Stoke City boss Tony Pulis admits he wanted to sign QPR skipper Joey Barton.

Pulis insists the midfielder was very different in person from his public image.

Pulis, who has seen his side lose three Premier League games in a row, said: "Joey's a top player. I spoke to him and he came over as a lovely lad.

"He seemed a sincere fella and completely different to what his persona is. It wasn't to be and he's done great with QPR.

"Yeah, he would have come with a bit of baggage but I might have enjoyed that!"