Dave Whelan believes that any club signing Charles N’Zogbia for £10m is getting an absolute bargain, but with the Frenchman desperate to leave and only having 12 months remaining on his contract, Wigan are forced to sell their chief asset.
N’Zogbia had a major say on Wigan’s Premier League survival last season, scoring an injury-time winner late in the campaign to beat West Ham, while also helping the club beat Stoke on the final day to move them out of the relegation places.
Aston Villa have been heavily linked with the winger in recent weeks, particularly after it became clear that Stewart Downing would be leaving to join Liverpool for £20m.
Villa have already had a £9m offer rejected for N’Zogbia, but have been told that any offer that meets Wigan’s asking price will be accepted.
Sunderland have been busy in the transfer window and have also been linked with N’Zogbia and Wigan appear to have now conceded defeat in their hope of keeping the 25-year-old.
N’Zogbia has been left at home as Wigan have embarked on their pre-season tour of Austria and Whelan is hoping that any deal is concluded quickly so that any money can be reinvested ahead of another probable season battling relegation.
He said: “I have always said for £10m he is an absolute snip. If Stewart Downing can change hands for £20m, I don’t know what Charles is worth. He is the fastest, most direct wide player in the Premier League.
“Charles is a great asset for any football club who wants him. Villa are not the sole bidders, there are another couple of clubs who are desperate to sign him. It depends how much they can pay up front, because we have got to re-spend that £10m this season just to replace Charles.”
N’Zogbia scored nine goals for Wigan last season and his sale will make it tough for them to survive.
Wigan are 13/8 in the Premier League odds to be relegated this season.