Aston Villa are moving quickly to replace the Liverpool-bound Stewart Downing with Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia.
News broke on Wednesday evening that Liverpool’s offer for Downing had been accepted, with Kenny Dalglish subsequently revealing that agreeing personal terms and a medical are all that stand in the way of the transfer being completed.
“We have been given permission to speak to the player,” he confirmed.
“We will now try to agree personal terms with him, but it will all depend on the medical. It is a work in progress and we will see what happens and keep you informed.”
Downing’s signing will boost Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four, for which they are 5/4 fifth-favourites in bwin’s football betting market.
A successful £25 free bet on Liverpool to qualify for the 2012-13 Champions League, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £56.25.
However, Aston Villa will be more concerned about bringing in reinforcements to ensure they can escape a second successive season of battling relegation.
Having already lost Ashley Young to Manchester United this summer, the Villans are in desperate need of attacking talent.
N’Zogbia would certainly fit the bill and a bid has been lodged for the former Newcastle man.
Crucially, Wigan owner Dave Whelan revealed last week that the 25-year-old Frenchman’s contract status means that he is available at the right price.
“We have to sell Charles N’Zogbia because he’s on the last year of his contract. We can’t keep him if a big club comes for him, and he does deserve a big club because he’s that kind of quality player,” Whelan told TalkSport.
“We would love to keep him and pay him what he wants to stay with us but it’s a very difficult situation. He’s such a great player and we are such a small club sometimes we don’t go together.”
Aston Villa’s first match of the new season will be at Craven Cottage against Fulham on Saturday, 13th August.
Early Fulham v Aston Villa betting has the home side narrow favourites at 27/20, with a Villa win priced at 19/10.
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.