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Desperate times and all that: Surely the N'Zogbia deal is nearly a done deal?

I have no inside knowledge and I've given up looking for it, but this deal is as good as done - I can feel it in my bones and everything points to it happening too.

It isn't just because we have bid £1,000,000 short of the asking price although that should be enough, it is because the player is throwing his toys out of the pram today and threatening to go on strike.

Dave Whelan isn't going to want this type of publicity and if what I've read in the Telegraph is true - that the player had an agreement that he could be sold at £9,000,000 - exactly what we have offered, then Dave Whelan is going to ultimately have to do it or he's likely going to lose a lot of money.

Deal done in time for Hong Kong?

The reason I'm thinking this deal is going to get done quite quickly is because the players all get on a plane in a couple of days for a trip to Hong Kong to play in the Barclays Asia Trophy and with the season kicking off just a couple of weeks after getting back - this is the perfect chance for the manager to get some time with the player.

There you go - that is how desperate I am for news - I'm starting to feel like Angela Lansbury, but hopefully it will happen - we know the manager wants him and we know they've bid £9,000,000 - so if this all goes south for the sake of £1,000,000, there is going to be a feeling of déjà vu and Ellis got knocked for not paying the extra for Robbie Keane, so it will happen to Lerner too.

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