Keegan closes in on Guthrie but N'Zogbia wants out

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The Independent Online

Newcastle United have been given permission by Liverpool to speak to their 21-year-old midfielder Danny Guthrie after the clubs agreed a fee believed to be in the £2m region. Guthrie spent last season on loan at Bolton and played well in a struggling team.

Guthrie has mainly played advanced on the right, occupying a space already filled by James Milner, and he is expected to become Newcastle's second summer signing, following another winger, Jonas Gutierrez, who has joined from Real Mallorca.

Less welcome for Keegan was Charles N'Zogbia's comment to France Football magazine that he wishes move to London. N'Zogbia has been linked with Arsenal for over a year and he said: "At the end of last season I didn't play a lot, so that has given me desire to play somewhere else. When I will talk with the coach it will be clearer. My priority is to play. I have dreamt about Arsenal since I was kid. I would be delighted to join the Gunners. It is a famous team that has big coverage in France. But Tottenham is exciting too."

Newcastle fought a compensation battle over N'Zogbia when he left Le Havre in August 2004. He initially prospered at St James' but lost his way under Glenn Roeder and Sam Allardyce.

Sunderland, meanwhile, are in discussions with Romania's Euro 2008 centre-half Dorin Goian but have not made an offer yet acceptable to Goian's club Steaua Bucharest. The Wearsiders, still without a signing this summer, are understood to have offered £3.2m, but Steaua are holding out for closer to £4m.

Attracting players to Sunderland is proving to be just as difficult as last season and the manager Roy Keane wishes to have new faces in place by the end of next week prior to the pre-season trip to Portugal. Sunderland have offered West Ham £4.5m for the left-back George McCartney but, with three years left on his contract, West Ham want as much as £6m.

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