Friday media watch [08.01.16]
Birmingham Mail: Charles N'Zogbia is set to finally leave Aston Villa this month - and Rémi Garde has revealed he has received an enquiry from a Greek club, believed to be AEK Athens, about the winger. N'Zogbia, who is also contemplating a move to Major League Soccer, is out of contract in the summer and has failed to impress Garde. There have been discussions about reaching a settlement on the final six months of his five year deal. The 29-year-old French wideman joined Villa in the summer of 2011 for a fee of around £10m.
Sky Sports: Aston Villa boss Rémi Garde has confirmed interest from a Greek side in a deal to sign out-of-favour winger Charles N'Zogbia. N'Zogbia has only played in two Premier League games this season, on the field for a combined 41 minutes, although Garde left the door slightly ajar for the 29-year-old to force his way back into his plans despite not having featured since November 21. AEK Athens have been linked with a move for the player Villa paid £9.5m to Wigan to sign in 2011.
Four Four Two: Charles N'Zogbia looks set to depart Villa Park after falling foul of a third successive manager at Aston Villa, with Rémi Garde confirming there is interest from Greece. Paul Lambert, Tim Sherwood and now Rémi Garde have all dropped N'Zogbia from first-team duty and the out-of-favour Frenchman is now reportedly on the verge of a move to AEK Athens. N'Zogbia has struggled for game time under Garde, who initially picked him in his first two teams.
Daily Telegraph: Aston Villa are finally ready to sever their ties with £9.5m flop Charles N'Zogbia by offloading the winger to AEK Athens. N'Zogbia's Villa nightmare could be over this month with a loan move to the Greek club, who are managed by former Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet, ending a miserable four-and-a-half years in the Midlands.
Daily Express: Aston Villa are close to ending Charles N'Zogbia's calamitous five-year cash drain on the club. The French winger is set to join Greek side AEK Athens, ending a stay that has cost Villa pennies short of £400,000 for every time he has started a game. N'Zogbia cost £9.5m from Wigan in July 2011, when he signed a £65,000-a-week five-year deal. But he made just 63 starts in all that time, weighing in with a measly five goals. He is set to go with six months of his contract to run as Villa boss Rémi Garde confirmed interest from the Greek club.
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde fears Aston Villa's recruitment drive could rumble on until the end of the January transfer window. Ideally, Garde would want to recruit reinforcements now to give his struggling side an immediate impetus. The Villa boss, whose team take a break from their Premier League survival slog to visit Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup third round this weekend, is busily working on trying to bring targets to the club.
Birmingham Mail: Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda is a January target for Aston Villa, Rémi Garde has confirmed. Villa are in the market for a new stopper to provide competition for Brad Guzan and the boss admits he is interested in the 30-year-old Frenchman. Asked about Mandanda, who is out of contract at the end of the season, Garde replied: "I have interest in this player, yes, but I cannot update you more than that."
Birmingham Mail: Aston Villa have received an enquiry for Libor Kozak - but Rémi Garde is keeping it close to his chest until he has spoken to the striker himself. Kozak made his first Premier League appearance for more than two years when he came on as a substitute in last weekend's defeat to Sunderland. But despite that rare run-out, Kozak, who has been a long-term Celtic target, could still leave the club this month, confirmed Garde.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Swansea City have announced caretaker boss Alan Curtis will remain in charge of the Premier League club for the rest of the season. The 61-year-old took charge after Garry Monk was sacked.
Sky Sports: Paul Merson believes Pep Guardiola would be the "perfect fit" for Arsenal if Arsene Wenger leads the Gunners to the Premier League title this season and then steps down. Guardiola has confirmed he has several offers from England and intends to manage in the Premier League next season, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all linked with the Bayern Munich boss.
BBC Sport: American comedy actor Will Ferrell has been named as a co-owner of new Major League Soccer franchise Los Angeles FC. The 48-year-old is part of a 26-strong ownership group that also includes basketball legend Magic Johnson and former USA women's striker Mia Hamm.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.