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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 2, 2009

Wigan sign N'Zogbia as Newcastle sign Taylor

Charles N'Zogbia's colourful Newcastle United career has finally come to an end after his swap deal with Wigan Athletic's Ryan Taylor was completed this afternoon.

The 22-year-old Frenchman and his English counterpart, 24, have switched clubs, with the Magpies - in addition - receiving an undisclosed cash sum, understood to be in excess of £6m.

N'Zogbia's departure comes days after he vowed never to play for the club again in protest at manager Joe Kinnear mispronouncing his surname as ''Insomnia'' in a television interview.

N'Zogbia becomes Wigan's record signing for an as-yet undisclosed fee, and Latics boss Steve Bruce is confident he can make a big impression at the JJB Stadium.

Bruce told the club's website: ''I think this boy can be a really good player for us.

''He's lightning fast going forward but can also play at the back and he fills that left-sided role we've been looking for.

''He is young but he has experience. For a boy of his age to have played well over 100 Premier League games is rare, so with his best years ahead of him, he is exactly the type of player we need for the long-term building of Wigan Athletic.

''I'm delighted to have him on board.''

After the deal was agreed, N'Zogbia paid tribute to the Newcastle fans but confirmed he was ''really unhappy'' with Kinnear.

''The best thing for me was to move on,'' he told Setanta Sports News. ''I didn't want to play under that manager anymore.

''I will always hold the Newcastle fans in the highest regard and wish them all the best in the future.''

N'Zogbia, meanwhile, has backed Wigan to secure European football next season following their goalless draw with Champions League-chasing Aston Villa on Saturday.

He continued: ''I think they're really strong. Their performance against Aston Villa showed what they can do. I think they can qualify for Europe this season.''

Newcastle were working right up to the transfer deadline to invest the proceeds from the sales of N'Zogbia and Shay Given to Manchester City, although Taylor's arrival gave Kinnear his third new signing in the wake of deals for Peter Lovenkrands and Kevin Nolan.

The Liverpool-born full-back, who can also play in midfield, made 73 appearances for the Latics following his £750,000 move from Tranmere in July 2005.

He is well known to the club's fans having scored four of his seven goals for Wigan against the Magpies.

The Taylor deal was effectively completed over the weekend, although it was not until N'Zogbia had undergone a medical and signed on the dotted line today that it was confirmed.

He told Newcastle's official website: ''It's fantastic. This is a massive opportunity for me and I can't wait to get started.

''You only have to look at the game against Sunderland and the Newcastle fans to realise why I have signed for the club.''

Kinnear was delighted to have made another breakthrough with time running out as he attempts to re-shape his squad for the fight for top-fight survival.

He said: ''I'm over the moon to get Ryan because he is still a young player, but one with a lot of experience. He's played nearly 200 career games and is still only 24.

''His versatility is tremendous. He can play on the left or the right, and in defence or midfield.

''He's a total footballer in that he's got two good feet and is very good on the ball.

''He's another Scouse lad like Kevin Nolan with a great character, and we are very happy to get him on board.''

Meanwhile, Newcastle have dismissed suggestions they tried to swap Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins for Tottenham's Darren Bent on Sunday.

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