STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Charles N'Zogbia of Wigan battles for the ball with Glenn Whelan of Stoke during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Wigan Athletic at Britannia Stadium on May 22, 2011 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
According to Sky Sports, Aston Villa have made Wigan Athletic a £10 million offer for winger Charles N'Zogbia as they look to fill the holes left Liverpool-bound Stewart Downing and new Manchester United signee Ashley Young. There's been much speculation that Villa are strongly interested in N'Zogbia, but this is the first report (so far as I am aware) of an offer being made with a number attached.
Depending on who you listen to, this is somewhere between £2 million pounds or £10 million fewer than Wigan's valuation of N'Zogbia, but in the current market it would be quite a decent bit of business. I like N'Zogbia and would be happy to see him join Villa, but I don't think he's as good as either of Downing or Young. Still, there's something to be said about not putting all of your eggs in one basket, and given the financial constraints Alex McLeish is likely operating under Villa can't afford to go much higher without compromising their ability to make impact signing elsewhere.
Still, Sky Sports has known to get a bit ahead of themselves. Quite often in fact. While I don't think it's unreasonable that Villa would have made such a bid, I'll feel significantly more comfortable about the veracity of this claim when there's some confirmation from other, more reliable sources. And even if this report is accurate, it's probably just the beginning of the dance (assuming negotiations haven't previously been taking place in quiet.)
Hopefully not. I like N'Zogbia, he fills the club's most obvious hole (goalkeeper included so far as I'm concerned) and £10 million is a very reasonable figure. Perhaps something is finally going to start going Villa's way this summer.