WIGAN Athletic are yet to receive a firm offer for wing wizard Charles N’Zogbia – although Dave Whelan has confirmed serious interest from ‘three or four’ rival clubs.
The Frenchman looks set to leave the DW this summer, with Wigan set for a healthy profit on the £6.5m they paid Newcastle in January 2009. The Magpies are reported to be one of the front-runners for N’Zogbia’s signature, along with Sunderland, Liverpool, Everton, Marseille and Juventus.
But Whelan insists he’ll only be allowed to leave when Wigan’s valuation is met.
“We have a fee in mind that we want, and we are fighting to get that fee” Whelan told the Evening Post.
“There’s been an awful lot of interest in Charles.
“We’ve had three or four clubs biting, wanting to be kept in the know.
“I do think he will go this summer, but we want the right price before we allow that to happen.”
N’Zogbia came close to joining Birmingham last summer for £9million only for the deal to fall through at the last minute over personal terms.
The 25-year-old knuckled down and his brilliant form throughout last term means Latics can expect to receive at least a similar fee – even though he now only has 12 months remaining on his contract.
Speculation was rife at the weekend that N’Zogbia had agreed terms with big-spending Liverpool pending a medical, although the Wigan chairman says such talk is premature.
Whelan also reckons whichever club does end up landing N’Zogbia will be getting themselves a bargain.
“There’s been no official bids yet, and I think it’ll be another week to 10 days before things get as serious as that,” Whelan added.
“But let me tell you, he’s worth a hell of a lot more than the fee we’re asking.
“Whichever club gets Charles will be getting a great player for far less than what he is actually worth.
“The problem is, he got a bit damaged by what happened with Birmingham last summer.
“Clubs are perhaps looking at him and thinking twice, thinking he’s difficult, but that wasn’t his fault at all.
“It was the agents who were to blame for what happened, not Charles.”