Villa and the Latics have reached agreement over a ?9.5million deal subject to N'Zogbia agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.
The 25-year-old is currently on holiday in Dubai but Villa are optimistic the move will be completed by the end of the week.
McLeish tried to sign N'Zogbia last summer when he was still Birmingham boss only for the deal to collapse at the 11th hour over personal terms.
Big move: Charles N'Zogbia finally set to complete his move from Wigan to Aston Villa
The Scot said: 'He is an exciting player and someone I've admired for quite a while.
'I'm pleased we've managed to agree a fee and hope we can reach agreement with Charles as soon as possible.
'The deal hasn't been fully done yet, he still has to complete a medical. I believe everything else is just about there.
'I think it's a great addition to the squad. He's an explosive player and he gives us a little bit of quality to replace one or two of the guys that have left the club.
'We try to do as much homework as possible to ensure we can get it done. You can never say it's a 100 per cent done deal, that's why I remain cautious, but I'm pretty confident.
'You saw his exploits last season, especially towards the end of the campaign when he scored five or six goals which were extremely important for Wigan to stay in the league.
'I felt we needed to replace Downing with similar quality, he's broken into the French national team, I believe we've got a player who can become even better.'
Captain? Alex McLeish is yet to name his captain, but Stiliyan Petrov is favourite
N'Zogbia will have to wait until Villa return from their current pre-season trip to Hong Kong as he does not have the necessary work permit for the tour.
McLeish has still to decide who will be his captain for the 2011-2012 campaign.
Midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has worn the armband since Gareth Barry quit Villa for Manchester City two years ago.
But last season the Bulgarian international was unable to hold onto a regular spot and the since departed Ashley Young and Nigel Reo-Coker also skippered the side.
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