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By ESPN Staff
Jan 8, 2009

N'Zogbia wants to quit Newcastle for Gunners

Newcastle United winger Charles N'Zogbia has reiterated his desire to leave the club, admitting that Arsenal would be his first-choice destination.

N'Zogbia revealed at the end of last year that he was keen to head for the St James' Park exit and the 22-year-old now claims a move to Tottenham Hotspur or Aston Villa this month is very much in the pipeline.

"My agents are talking with Tottenham and Aston Villa," he told L'Equipe. "I'm waiting to see what will happen.

"From what they have told me, Arsenal could also be in the frame, but there hasn't been a direct approach from them.

"Personally, I have a little preference for the Gunners but, whatever happens, they are three great and ambitious clubs. It's very flattering to see them interested in me.

"I've spoken to my bosses at the club. They know what my aims are and what I want to continue to progress.

"As soon as a big club knocks on the door with a good offer, I don't think they'll prevent me leaving.

"While waiting I'm continuing to train, without letting my head go down because I am above all a professional."

N'Zogbia joined Newcastle in 2004, with the Magpies paying a nominal sum to Le Havre for their youth team player.

But the former France Under-21 international admits the time has come for a move away from the club in order to attract the attention of Les Bleus coach Raymond Domenech.

He continued: "I've been here for four years. It's a club who have allowed me to discover the France youth team, and I thank them for that, but at some point you have to know how to aim higher.

"I am 22. It's an age where I have to be seen, especially with regards to aims that I have targeted for myself.

"I want to get into the France team as soon as possible and I feel that at Newcastle, that won't be possible. I'm at a turning point in my career."

However, N'Zogbia insists that whatever happens he would love to remain in England, even if Ligue 1 giants Lyon or Paris St Germain come calling.

"A return to France is not unforeseeable," he explained. "But personally I have always said that my priority is to remain in England.

"It's a league which I take pleasure from and which suits me well.

"Anyway, a return to France is not relevant because none of those clubs have contacted me."

N'Zogbia admitted that it was partly seeing his friend and compatriot Lassana Diarra secure a move to Real Madrid which pushed him to take a decisive step to clinching his own transfer.

"That's exactly the case," he said. "He's a player I've grown up with in football. When I see what he has done that gives me extra desire to set myself new targets, to do everything to have the same recognition.

"It's for that reason that I feel it's the right time to leave. In a career, you need titles and yet, at Newcastle, that's not possible.

"When I see certain friends playing in the Champions League or others like Lassana or Florent Sinama-Pongolle with the France team, it makes me drool. I say to myself: 'Why not me?'"

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