Kinnear: N'Zogiba reports laughable

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Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has hit out at fresh speculation that several of his key players are up for grabs during the transfer window.

However, after yet more quotes from France attributed to N'Zogbia linking him with Arsenal, as well as Tottenham and Aston Villa, the Magpies boss took the unusual step of calling Gunners counterpart and friend Arsene Wenger to ask if he is on the trail of the 22-year-old Frenchman.

He said: "I have spoken to Arsene Wenger and he said he's not interested in any of my players, so I don't know where the agent is coming from."

He continued: "We are looking into it. If it is true, then the agent is being disrespectful. He's never had the decency to explain anything to any member of this football club.

"It's laughable, to be honest. It's absolute nonsense. Charles is under contract until 2012, and I told him on day one that he was a very important player.

"He's been in the team, and has done very well. He's 60-40 to play tomorrow - and I hope he does."

Kinnear was unhappy too with suggestions that Bolton and Portsmouth are ready to battle it out for Joey Barton's signature, while he also revealed Alan Smith was unimpressed by reports that he could be offloaded to either Everton or Middlesbrough.

Both men are currently working their way back to fitness after long-term injuries.

Kinnear said: "We have identified the players we want, and it's in Dennis Wise's hands.

"As for bids for our players, we haven't heard from anybody. It's been non-stop and the latest rumours focus on Joey Barton and Alan Smith."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Joey Barton
Bolton Wanderers
Alan Smith
Premier League
Newcastle United
Aston Villa

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