The Villa boss is wary of pinning his hopes on signing the in-demand star - and not just because he snubbed a move to McLeish's Birmingham last season.
The Scot's latest attempt to sign N'Zogbia has stalled with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan telling Villa they must meet his £10million asking price before opening talks with the player.
So while McLeish remains keen to bring in the 25-year-old, he has drawn up a list of back-up options.
"I've been in this situation many times before, so it is important that we don't end up with a custard pie on our faces," he said.
"We do have others in mind that if the particular deal we are looking at falls through - we have to have fall-backs if that one falls through.
"We have to look at alternatives as well, we can't just hang our hat on one player. We have to be ready if we don't get the particular player that we are after."