Aston Villa have made a bid for Wigan winger Charles N’Zogbia, as Alex McLeish looks to rebuild his squad following Ashley Young’s move to Manchester United and Stewart Downing’s likely departure for Liverpool.
McLeish has yet to sign any players since his controversial arrival from Birmingham City, and N’Zogbia would be an ideal candidate to fill the void in Villa’s midfield should Downing complete his £20m transfer to Liverpool.
The fee for N’Zogbia, 25, is thought to be around £10m, which would represent good value for a player who scored nine Premier League goals last season.
The former Newcastle man played a pivotal role in Wigan’s Premier League survival last term, and losing the Frenchman would be a blow to Roberto Martinez’s men.
With Hugo Rodallega also linked with a move away from the DW Stadium, Wigan could soon find themselves without two of their most valuable assets. They are 13/8 to be relegated.
Villa flirted with relegation in the first half of last season, and fans will be anxious for McLeish to move quickly to plug the gaps in his squad.
West Ham’s Scott Parker, the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, has been linked with a move to Villa Park, though Chelsea are weighing up a loan move for the England international.
Shay Given is also believed to be a transfer target for McLeish, and the out-of-favour Manchester City goalkeeper would be an excellent replacement for Brad Friedel, who has joined Tottenham.
With some £16m already in the bank following Young’s exit and £20m on its way courtesy of Downing’s imminent move to Anfield, Villa could have a sizeable transfer budget on their hands.
They are 2/5 to finish in the top ten this season, but if McLeish is too slow to capitalise on the funds at his disposal, the Villains could be tempting candidates at 16/1 to be relegated.