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Liverpool and Aston Villa to struggle to land N’Zogbia

| 25.05.2011

Liverpool and Aston Villa seem likely to fail with their efforts to sign Charles N’Zogbia this summer as Wigan boss Roberto Martinez will only allow his prize asset to leave for a club offering Champions League football.

N’Zogbia was Wigan’s stand-out performer at the end of the season as they narrowly avoided Premier League relegation on the final day of the campaign with a win at Stoke.

Wigan sat in the bottom three for virtually the whole of the season, but five goals in the final six games of the campaign from N’Zogbia were pivotal in helping them beat the drop by three points.

These performances did not go unnoticed by some of the larger Premier League clubs, who are expected to test Wigan’s resolve with a close-season bid.

Liverpool are believed to be targeting a host of wingers, with N’Zogbia, Hamburg’s Eljero Elia and Aston Villa duo Ashley Young and Stewart Downing all towards the top of the shortlist.

It is 10/1 in the Premier League odds that Liverpool win the title next season and manager Kenny Dalglish is expected to be handed a substantial transfer kitty over the summer.

Meanwhile, with Young expected to leave Villa as he only has one year remaining on his contract, N’Zogbia is a potential suitable replacement.

However, if an English club is to sign N’Zogbia it will have to be Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City or Arsenal, according to Martinez.

He said: “If a club comes in for Charles that is not in the Champions League, then I would say ‘no’. If I don’t see that the club can offer him a different football project than ours then we are not going to sell.

“Charles knows I wouldn’t stop him from playing in the Champions League. We cannot offer that and there are a few players here who fall into that category of being able to play in the Champions League.”

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.