Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is allegedly lining up a £6m move to bring Charles N’Zogbia back to the club.
N’Zogbia moved to Aston Villa in the summer for a monster £9.5 transfer fee from Wigan but has struggled to find his feet under new boss Alex McLeish. The Villa’s manager’s defensive style is highly unsuitable for the creative winger’s game, and he has even failed to become a first-team regular despite being one of the most gifted players in the Villa squad.
He has also clashed with McLeish on the training ground and was fined and dropped for Aston Villa’s Premier League meeting with Manchester United last month after failing to show up for fitness session with the Villa medical staff.
Newcastle paid a fee in the region of £250,000 to sign N’Zogbia from Le Havre in 2004 and he made 118 appearances for the club before being sold to Wigan for £6m in 2009.
The Frenchman’s time on Tyneside was a fruitful one but ended on a sour note after a falling out with then manager Joe Kinnear. The controversial manager mispronounced N’Zogbia’s name in a television interview, calling him “Imsomnia” and “Somnia before just going with “Charlie”. This angered the fiery Frenchman, who declared he would never play for the club again whilst Kinnear was at the helm. Kinnear thought the act was a part of a desperate attempt to engineer a move away from the club and some of the fans agreed.
Times have moved on significantly at Newcastle however. Alan Pardew has put together a very solid side who are pulling up trees this season in the Premier League. There is also a big contingent of French players in the side, including Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, which would also be a big attraction for N’Zogbia.
If the clubs can agree a fee the move could be sound for both parties.