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Aug 18, 2010

Wigan manager Martinez denies N'Zogbia bust-up

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez insists reports of a falling-out with Charles N'Zogbia have been greatly exaggerated by the national press, although the midfielder will be allowed to leave the DW Stadium if an interested party meets his valuation.

N'Zogbia was left out of the Wigan side that slumped to a 4-0 defeat at home to Blackpool on the opening day of the season, with Martinez saying the Frenchman was not "mentally fit" to represent the club following his return from international duty.

That led to suggestions that the pair had fallen out, with one report even claiming that N'Zogbia, who has been linked with a move to Birmingham this summer, had gone on strike and that the midfielder would incur a heavy fine for his actions.

However, Martinez strenuously denies that N'Zogbia's behaviour has been beyond the pale and although his future is certainly up for debate, the Frenchman may well play against Chelsea at the weekend. Martinez did not address suggestions that the player has handed in a transfer request.

"Football will always make the decision," Martinez told the Evening Post. "Mentally and physically, Charles has to be right to help the team. But he has been back to himself in training this week, and when he does that, he remains a special player for us.

"There has always been a good communication between Charles and myself, and we have maintained a respectful manner. I understand why he was affected by going away with the French national side. But he did not storm out of training before the Blackpool game, and you don't get a fine when you don't have an outburst.

"You are going to get a lot of media talk, and rumours that can get placed in the press by interested parties. But it was all dealt with behind closed doors. Charles didn't do anything wrong but express his feelings, and it was only the timing that was wrong - just before the start of the season. But that is a world away from what was reported.

"The situation with him is the same as with any other player. If a club comes in with an offer that matches our valuation - and the player wants to move - then he will be allowed to go. But, until then, Charles remains a Wigan Athletic player, and it is a partnership that has worked really well.

"It's important for the fans to know that he will be staying unless a team matches his valuation in the market. That has always been the case - which is why the recent talk has been so over the top."

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