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Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Kinnear embroiled in N'Zogbia row

Charles N'Zogbia
A number of clubs have been linked with N'Zogbia

Newcastle's awful season took another turn for the worse as boss Joe Kinnear accused Charles N'Zogbia of trying to engineer a move away from the Magpies.

The French midfielder, 22, was unhappy Kinnear mis-pronounced his name, calling him "Insomnia", in an interview after the Manchester City defeat.

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 the manager.

"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."

However, N'Zogbia's agent Franck Peslerbe insists that his client is not looking to quit and claimed it is Kinnear who is eager for the player to leave St James' Park.

Peslerbe has also defended N'Zogbia's reaction to Kinnear's mis-pronunciation with the player and the agent interpreting his comment to mean the Frenchman is mad.

"I don't think any person would be happy with this situation," he told BBC Sport.

"Joe Kinnear insulted Charles at a press conference so now the direction of Charles is not very simple.

"It is hard not to react when you boss calls you mad. He has said it is a mistake, but he has not made any mistake regarding other players names.

"When you respect somebody you don't make this sort of mistake in a public situation."

He added: "It is clear what he meant. If he meant it as a joke, it is a good joke for Kinnear but to Charles, it is not.

"I don't know if he will play for Newcastle again, he is refusing to play for Joe Kinnear.

"He doesn't want to leave but Joe Kinnear wants him to leave, that is not the same thing."

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 he is to secure a move away from Newcastle time is running out, 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," he said after the defeat at Eastlands.

"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."

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see also
N'Zogbia ready to leave Newcastle
09 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
Survival fight Kinnear's toughest
29 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
Kinnear fined over referee rage
27 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
Kinnear hits out at predecessors
18 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
Kinnear offered extended contract
17 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
Kinnear handed FA conduct charge
27 Nov 08 |  Newcastle
FA warns Kinnear over his conduct
14 Oct 08 |  Newcastle
Kinnear stays for rest of season
28 Nov 08 |  Newcastle
N'Zogbia keen to stay on Tyneside
27 Nov 08 |  Newcastle
Magpies admit N'Zogbia may leave
06 Feb 08 |  Newcastle

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