NEWCASTLE United are ready to end their interest in Charles N’Zogbia as Alan Pardew has reservations about the player’s attitude as well as the size of his wage demands.
Like Sunderland, Newcastle have been quoted a fee of £12m for the France international, double what they sold him to Wigan for two years ago and, although they were willing to pay that sum of money, they have been unimpressed with the player’s stance so far this summer.
The Journal understands N’Zogbia has told suitors he is willing to run down the final 12 months of his contract at Wigan rather than compromise on his wage demands, believed to start at £60,000 a week, which has set alarm bells ringing at St James’ Park.
As many as nine clubs have expressed an interest in the 25-year-old in the last few weeks and N’Zogbia and his advisers are keen to spark a bidding war, with N’Zogbia simply going to the club willing to pay him the most. The United hierarchy are wary of entering into that sort of situation as they have always maintained they only want to sign players who genuinely want to play for them.
Although a massive talent – as he showed in patches during his time on Tyneside – N’Zogbia is a potentially difficult character in the dressing room and United feel he is being “mercenary” in his approach to a summer move.
A senior United source said: “The N’Zogbia situation is turning into a bun fight, there are a lot of clubs in for him and there is a lot of confusion about what his intentions are.
“It seems he is waiting to see who offers him the most money, that is his priority and is that the sort of person we want to play for Newcastle United?
“He is a very talented boy, but is he just a mercenary? We are considering all of these things. We need to have a long hard think about it because it is a lot of money to spend on one player who left under a cloud.”
The Journal has also been told that, while N’Zogbia would return to Newcastle, he is also very keen on the prospect of playing for Steve Bruce again at Sunderland. The Black Cats tried to sign him last summer, tried again in January, and Bruce has always described the winger as his number one target in his own summer rebuilding scheme.