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Friday, January 30, 2009
Kinnear hits big after N'Zogbia insult claims

Soccernet staff

Newcastle United boss Joe Kinnear has hit back at Charles N'Zogbia after the midfielder accused the Magpies manager of insulting him.

The 22-year-old Frenchman issued a statement on Thursday, insisting he would never again play for Kinnear after claiming the manager mispronounced his name several times during an interview.

Kinnear believes N'Zogbia is trying to engineer a move away from St James' Park and is using the mispronunciation his name as an excuse. The interview in question came after Wednesday night's 2-1 Premier League defeat at Manchester City, a game for which N'Zogbia was left out of the 18-man squad.

Of the player's remarks Kinnear said: ''I couldn't believe it when I was told Charles had issued a statement claiming he was insulted, apparently for nothing more than me mispronouncing his name in a post-match interview at Manchester City.

''Okay, I got a little tongue-tied - but if I had a pound for every time I've mispronounced a player's name down the years, then I'd be a very wealthy man indeed.

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

''Sadly, this just smacks of a desperate attempt to engineer a move away from Newcastle United - a club that gave Charles the chance to play in the Premier League and which has rewarded him handsomely during his time at St James' Park.''

In his statement, issued to Sky Sports News, N'Zogbia said: ''First of all, I wish to apologise to the fans for wanting to leave the club.

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

The former Le Havre player and his representatives have been actively trying to secure his exit for some time, and have stepped up their efforts during the current transfer window - which closes at 5pm on Monday.

Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Wigan and Lyon are among the clubs which have been credited with an interest in him in recent weeks.

N'Zogbia claimed: ''The club are aware there are offers on the table, and they should accept one of them.''

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