Reports from today’s Telegraph and Daily Mail suggest that long-time Villa target Charles N’Zogbia is set to go on strike from Wigan in order to push a deal through.
Latics chairman Dave Whelan has insisted that the club will accept nothing less than £10m for the Frenchman, though speculation suggests that this was not always the case, with the player and Villa both under the impression that a £9m offer would be enough to force a sale. Such rumours would support the club’s reluctance to up their offer for the winger, though most Villa fans are growing tired of the saga and would prefer Lerner to cave in and stump up the extra £1m. The player is now ready to refuse to train with the club having been seemingly mislead, with the Mail now claiming that Wigan are asking for as much as £12m for their star man.
In other news, The Express & Star report that Villa are to go head-to-head with Midlands rivals West Brom for Inter’s MacDonald Mariga. The link is not the first to come to fruition with regards to the Kenyan but after McLeish stated that only one more top signing would be brought in at this stage, a bidding war seems unlikely from our side. So who is he I hear you ask through the medium of knowledge. Mariga is a 24-year-old Kenya international who made just 2 starts in the league at the San Siro last term, along with 10 substitute appearances. A pass success rate of 87% is very good but easier to maintain from such little game time and for such a big club. Primarily a defensive midfielder, he made 1.3 tackles per game and 0.6 internationals a match during his limited displays. Sorry for the lack of real substance to the stats but he only made 2 starts!
Another link that has circulated over the last couple of days has seen Villa touted with an interest in bringing Tottenham’s other young right-back and indeed other Kyle, Naughton to the club on loan. The 22-year-old was signed alongside Walker from Sheffield United and was tipped as the brighter prospect of the two. Having failed to break into the Spurs ranks thus far, Redknapp may be keen to send him out on loan to Villa after the success of his fellow Kyle at the club last year. Naughton spent last season on loan at Leicester and was a star performer under Eriksson. He netted 5 times and made 3 assists and like Walker, scored a couple of screamers in the process. Loan moves are likely to still be valid options for McLeish so I see sense in this one having failed to secure the services of Walker for next year.
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