Marseille coach Elie Baup says Joey Barton remains a key member of his squad despite the midfielder having angered club chiefs by labelling Paris St Germain defender Thiago Silva an "overweight ladyboy" in an online tirade.
The Englishman, on loan from QPR, was ordered by OM officials to cease his attack on the Brazilian, which was also condemned by PSG and a prominent anti-homophobia group based in the French capital. Barton wrote a series of Twitter messages on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, in which he went as far as questioning whether Silva was "pre-op or post-op".
But Baup said: "What is important to me is the communication from the club. Barton holds an important place in the team and I make decisions in the game - for example, that he (Barton) did not start against Nice (last weekend). That is my responsibility. Beyond that, it does not concern me."
He added: "I am the coach of OM and I have to intervene (only) on larger matters. The communication of individual players is their own responsibility. I have a boss and a direction."
Barton's outburst apparently stemmed from comments made by Silva ahead of PSG's Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona, when there was an oblique reference to Barton.
Silva spoke of an English Marseille player whose name he claimed to have forgotten that had taken to criticising big-name players including David Beckham because nobody was talking about him.
Marseille said in a statement that the club and Barton were keen to apologise for the midfielder's "inappropriate comments", adding: "The management asked Joey Barton to put an end to the attack on PSG's Brazilian defender. The Marseille midfielder pledged to immediately cease the posting of anything derogatory about Thiago Silva."
Barton made his initial "overweight ladyboy" remark following PSG's 2-2 draw with Barcelona, and on Wednesday morning added: "2 questions for Thiago Silva. Firstly, Why are YOU talking about ME, in your press conference before PSG v Barca? Very strange.
"Secondly, Are you Pre-Op or Post-Op? #transsexual #thiagosaladyboy.
"Baffles me, which way he's going. Is he a man changing to a woman or a woman changing to a man? Can't work it out."