Aston Villa and Wigan agree to N’Zogbia compromise
Whether it is Wigan who have made an extra £500,000 or Aston Villa who have saved the same amount is irrelevant, as a compromise has finally been reached between the two clubs over the sale of Charles N’Zogbia.
Aston Villa had their initial £9m offer rejected by Dave Whelan as the Wigan chairman was adamant that his star man was worth a minimum of £10m.
However, after a weekend of negotiations, it has finally been agreed that Villa will may £9.5m for the 25-year-old and now the general formalities of passing fitness tests and agreeing personal terms are left to be completed.
The signing of N’Zogbia will bring a massive sigh of relief among Villa fans, with the club looking worryingly short of recognised wingers after the sales of Stewart Downing and Ashley Young.
Although that duo brought in over £35m in transfer fees, Villa manager Alex McLeish is likely to settle with just N’Zogbia and goalkeeper Shay Given as his only summer signings.
Villa already spent big in January to sign striker Darren Bent and owner Randy Lerner appears likely to tighten the purse strings and rely on a batch of youngsters hoping to make the grade in the first team.
The likes of Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan, Nathan Delfouneso and Ciaran Clark have already made some impact, with others including Gary Gardner, Graham Burke and Daniel Johnson expected to be handed opportunities this season.
This process of utilising youth helped Manchester United in the 1990s and Villa will be hoping that it will have them at worst competing for a spot in the top six again this season.
It is 5/1 in the Premier League odds that Aston Villa finish in the top six this season, although the safer bet may prove the 8/15 that McLeish guides them to a top-half finish.