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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

N'Zogbia denies quit talk

Newcastle midfielder Charles N'Zogbia has insisted he is happy on Tyneside amid continuing speculation he could leave the club.

The 21-year-old Frenchman has spoken out after a report suggested he and team-mate Abdoulaye Faye had been involved in a bust-up.

N'Zogbia said: 'I am happy at Newcastle United and, to tell the truth, I have always been.

'At the moment, all I am concentrating on in playing for the French Under-21 squad in Sweden at the end of this month and then, like the rest of the Newcastle squad, looking at what players we are going to get in the close season.'

N'Zogbia's future on Tyneside has been in question for some time after he fell out of favour under former boss Glenn Roeder amid speculation Arsenal were ready to make a bid for him.

He returned to the first-team picture as Roeder's successor Sam Allardyce arrived at St James' Park, but played much of his football earlier this season at left-back.

Jose Enrique's emergence in the wake of Allardyce's departure and the success of Kevin Keegan's ploy of fielding a 4-3-3 line-up have seen N'Zogbia return to the fringes in recent weeks.

However, he played in Sunday's 3-1 Premier League defeat at Everton and won the penalty from which Michael Owen scored his 13th goal of the season.

Keegan has confirmed he has had conversations with the former Le Havre player over his future, although his position remains unclear, with the manager knowing he may have to generate at least a proportion of his summer transfer kitty himself.

But while N'Zogbia was giving nothing away on that front, he was adamant he and former Bolton defender Faye did not fall out.

He said: 'I have been at Newcastle since I was 17 and I have never been involved in a fight with anyone.

'And why would I pick a fight with Abdoulaye Faye? Not only is he a friend of mine, but he is also a little bit bigger than me.'

N'Zogbia is one of 13 Newcastle players who face an extended season because of international commitments.

Several have gruelling schedules, with Emre and David Rozehnal, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Lazio, lining up for Turkey and the Czech Republic respectively at the Euro Championship finals in Austria and Switzerland.

In addition, African quartet Geremi, Habib Beye, Faye and Obafemi Martins are each preparing for four World Cup qualifiers with Cameroon, Senegal and Nigeria.

It might have been even worse for the Magpies, with Shay Given, Mark Viduka, James Milner, David Edgar and Tim Krul all recovering from injury and England Under-21s skipper Steven Taylor having been rested by boss Stuart Pearce.

Meanwhile, Newcastle were not commenting on reports today that former England caretaker manager Peter Taylor is being lined up for a coaching job on Tyneside.

It is understood Taylor is being considered for a key role working with the club's emerging stars.