Aston Villa close in on trio of Newcastle old boys

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Aston Villa haven’t just launched a bid for one ex-Newcastle player, not even just two, they’re targeting three Newcastle old boys. While there are of course a lot of ex-Newcastle players doing the rounds, injury-prone Kieron Dyer was snapped up by newly promoted QPR earlier this week, has new Villa manager Alex McLeish got a transfer policy to purely pick up players who have worn the famous black and white stripes?

The first of those is Charles N’Zogbia. Newcastle themselves are thought to have been keen to bring the Frenchman back to St James’ Park, but Mike Ashley hasn’t exactly been willing to part with his cash. With a £20 million bid received for Stewart Downing from Liverpool, cash isn’t something that Villa are short of, and N’Zogbia will be a like for like replacement, and a very good one at that. However, Everton are also lining up a bid, and I strongly feel that Newcastle should do the same, too.

Next up is Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given. A great servant for Newcastle over the years, Given’s move to the north-west just didn’t work out for him and he’s seen England’s number one Joe Hart keep hold of the gloves. Given’s exit finally allowed Steve Harper to step up between the sticks and with Tim Krul and Fraser Forster waiting in the wings, Newcastle are fairly well blessed for ‘keepers at the moment. The move to Villa should be good for Given, where he’ll replace Brad Friedel as the number on.

Last up is in demand West Ham midfielder Scott Parker. With the Hammers suffering relegation to the Championship an exit looks very likely, with Chelsea, Tottenham and maybe even Arsenal potential suitors. But Aston Villa are thought to have made the first move for the defensive midfielder, a position that Newcastle are well served for, as long as Alan Pardew can keep hold of Cheik Tiote.

If these bids come off then when Newcastle come up against Aston Villa next season there’ll be a lot of familiar faces on show, especially if Stephen Ireland and Habib Beye can make it off the bench. Of the players mentioned here, who will you be giving a warm welcome when they make the trip to St James’ Park next season?

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