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Aston Villa turn to N'Zogbia

Aston Villa have made a £10 million bid for Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia, according to reports.

N'Zogbia, a French international, has been linked with a move away from the DW stadium this summer after revealing he would like to play for one of the Premier League's 'top clubs'.

With Villa flush with cash after the sale of Ashley Young to Manchester United and Stewart Downing closing on a move to Liverpool, the club are keen to rebuild their squad and bring in at least two new midfielders during the transfer window.

Both Newcastle and Sunderland had been linked with N'Zogbia, but Toon boss Alan Pardew said on Thursday: ''I am told that Charles has got an imminent move, so I don't think that will be us.''

New Villa boss Alex McLeish is a long-term admirer of N'Zogbia who has one year remaining on his current deal with the Latics. But he will take nothing for granted after the events of last year.

McLeish came close to signing the former Newcastle man at Birmingham 12 months ago only for the move to break down over personal terms at the 11th hour. Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips and Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady are also on McLeish's radar should he fail to land N'Zogbia.

Manchester City keeper Shay Given is also expected to sign in a £3.5 million deal, once he has negotiated a settlement on the remainder of his contract, as a replacement for Brad Friedel.

Meanwhile, McLeish says he believes out-of-favour full-back Stephen Warnock has ''staked his claim'' to be part of the future at the club with his attitude in pre-season training.

Warnock was part of England's World Cup squad last summer but was frozen out of the plans of McLeish's predecessor, Gerard Houllier. The former Liverpool player trained with the youth team or reserves under Houllier and his Villa Park days looked numbered.

But McLeish insisted the slate was ''wiped clean'' for any player when he took charge last month and he has been impressed by the approach of Warnock.

McLeish said: ''Stephen's attitude has been phenomenal and that's what I expect of top pros playing at a top level. He's trained really well. He played for England not so long ago and I think he's a terrific player.

''I need to see if he can be part of the future here. He has come back in and for me has staked his claim with his attitude alone.''


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