Kinnear embroiled in N’Zogbia row

A number of clubs have been linked with N'ZogbiaNewcastle’s awful season took another turn for the worse as boss Joe Kinnear accused Charles N’Zogbia of trying to manoeuvre a move away from the Mapgies.

The 22-year-old French midfielder was unhappy Kinnear mis-pronounced his name several times during an interview after Wednesday’s defeat by Manchester City.

And N’Zogbia reportedly said he would never play for the club under Kinnear.

“Sadly, this just smacks of a desperate attempt to engineer a move away from Newcastle United,” said Kinnear.

“OK, I got a little tongue-tied, but if I had a pound for every time I’ve mis-pronounced a player’s name down the years, then I’d be a very wealthy man indeed.”

N’Zogbia has been reportedly linked with moves to Aston Villa, Arsenal, Tottenham and French club Lyon, but Kinnear insisted no team had made an offer for the winger who signed a five-year contract in 2007.

“There have already been plenty of quotes attributed to Charles during January, saying he is interested in leaving for other clubs,” added Kinnear. “But the truth is we haven’t received a formal offer for him.”

Earlier the Press Association reported N’Zogbia had released a statement saying he had played his last game for the club while Kinnear was in charge.

“First of all I wish to apologise to the fans for wanting to leave the club,” N’Zogbia’s statement read.

“However, having been insulted by Joe Kinnear, I will never play for him again while he remains Newcastle manager.

“The club are aware there are offers on the table and they should accept one of them.”

Signed from French club Le Havre in 2004, N’Zogbia did not feature in Newcastle’s squad for the Manchester City game.

If N’Zogbia is to secure a move away from Newcastle time is running out for the Frenchman with the January transfer window due to shut at 1700 GMT on Monday 2 February.

Wednesday’s defeat was particularly costly for Newcastle with Joey Barton and Michael Owen picking up long-term injuries.

Barton is be out for eight weeks after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, while Owen is set to be sidelined for a similar period with an ankle injury.

The Magpies are only two points above the relegation zone and have not won in their last seven matches.

And Kinnear also hinted that the club and owner Mike Ashley had been hit by the economic downturn.

“The credit crunch is killing us,” Kinnear said after the defeat at Eastlands.

“(Owner) Mike (Ashley) has lost two billion quid in his own businesses and shares. He is just about paying the wages but it is not an easy situation.”