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By ESPN Staff

N'Zogbia to fight for his place at Newcastle

Newcastle midfielder Charles N'Zogbia has insisted he wants to stay on Tyneside.

However, the Frenchman admits there would be nothing he could do if the Magpies decided to cash in on him during the January transfer window.

Interim boss Joe Kinnear spoke out yesterday after being made aware of reports from France that an unhappy N'Zogbia is being targeted by Paris St Germain.

His response was to tell the 22-year-old he is going nowhere, and the player's reaction may have placated him to an extent.

N'Zogbia said: "In an ideal world, I would want to stay with Newcastle United. This is the first time I have spoken about my future, and those quotes attributed to me over the weekend came from my agent back in France.

"Obviously, I am not happy that I have hardly figured in Joe Kinnear's starting line-up recently, but that is up to me to put right.''

N'Zogbia, who has been linked with both Tottenham and Arsenal in the recent past, has struggled to force his way into Kinnear's plans although he has impressed as a substitute in the last two games.

The manager admitted at the weekend that he may have to sell to give himself a winter transfer kitty should he still be in charge when the January window opens, and N'Zogbia would represent one of the club's more saleable assets.

However, Kinnear has insisted he does not want to let any of his current first-team squad leave the club, although he knows those decisions could be taken out of his hands.

N'Zogbia, who also revealed his non-attendance at a team stroll ahead of Saturday's game at Chelsea was down to a back spasm, said: "This is all out of my hands and if Newcastle do want to sell me, then there is nothing I can do about that.

"But don't forget, I have been at Newcastle for over four years now and I consider this my home - and I now have a big French pal in Sebastien Bassong, who is doing well for us the moment.

"My immediate aim is to get into the team alongside him, starting at Middlesbrough on Saturday.''

The game at the Riverside Stadium will give Newcastle the chance to drag themselves out of the relegation zone once again.

Their delight at the goalless draw at Stamford Bridge was quickly put into context by their return to the bottom three in the wake of victories for Tottenham and Wigan, and three points on Teesside would come as a massive boost.

But while Kinnear's short-term focus will be on the short trip to Teesside, efforts to strengthen his squad are gathering pace.

The Magpies have contacted Roma over a potential loan deal for former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise, and are awaiting a response on the package that would require, while they have had Blackburn duo Stephen Warnock and Christopher Samba watched.

However, the manager's hopes of taking advantage of his friendship with Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger were not helped by the Gunners' progression in the Champions League last night.

Kinnear said: "I was looking at the situation regarding both Alexandre Song and Johan Djourou at the Emirates, but I notice both played for Arsenal when they beat Dynamo Kiev last night, so I know I am wasting my time thinking about those two on loan.

"And I can understand Arsene Wenger not wanting to let Denilson go either.''


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