Premier League

Kinnear laughs off rumours

Magpies boss rubbishes N'Zogbia, Barton and Smith links

Kinnear: Disappointed by gossip

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Joe Kinnear has branded reports linking Charles N'Zogbia with a move to Arsenal as 'laughable'.

The Newcastle winger is one of many Magpies currently being linked with a January departure from Tyneside.

The likes of Alan Smith and Joey Barton have also seen their St James' Park futures called into question, with speculation suggesting Kinnear needs to sell before he can buy.

However, the Magpies boss has rubbished quotes emanating out of France, attributed to N'Zogbia, linking his highly-rated winger with a switch to Emirates Stadium.

Kinnear 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.

"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.

Nonsense

"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 (against West Ham) - and I hope he does."

N'Zogbia has also been linked with Aston Villa and Tottenham, while Barton is reported to be on the radar of Portsmouth and Bolton.

Smith has reacted angrily to stories claiming he is on his way to Everton or Middlesbrough, and Kinnear admits the rumour mill is beginning to spiral out of control.

Focus

He added: "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.

"I spoke to Alan Smith and he is bitterly disappointed that his name has been bandied around for no reason at all.

"He is two weeks away from full fitness, and I don't know how we can transfer someone who has been out for six months.

"It's the same with Joey Barton. He's back in full training next week."