Queens Park Rangers footballer Joey Barton, who is currently on loan to a French side, says he may sue the Daily Mail newspaper after it published an article that suggested he should become football’s “gay hero”.

The piece was written by the paper’s sport columnist Martin Samuel.

Barton, 30, who is heterosexual and married with a child, has blasted the paper for “shoddy journalism” and on Wednesday afternoon tweeted from his personal account @joey7barton

“I see Jim Royles giving it beans about my sexuality in the Daily Mail. Like thats anything to do with him. Can he say what he’s said?

“Sounds slightly bigoted and homophobic to me. Any legal-eagles out there know if he can get away with this?

“My sexuality is of no concern to anyone except me and my family. Can’t see the missus being happy about this piece.

“Nor, would I like my child (when old enough) to read this tripe. Shoddy journalism.

“I will probably have to sue. I don’t really need the money or the hassle. So I offer this as a olive branch.

“Actually, no. Theres no olive branch. Enough’s enough”.

At the time of publication, Barton’s last tweet said:

“In light of the Leveson enquiry, it seems a strange thing to print. I mean I have never even met the guy. He doesn’t know me. Shocking.”

The debate surrounding the lack of gay footballers has been in the media spotlight of late.

Last week, Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard urged gay players to come out of the closet because “gay people need a hero”.

Former England international Gareth Southgate added that in his opinion it would not be a problem for gay footballers to be accepted in the dressing room.