Exclusive - The prospective new owners of Newcastle United have no intention of withdrawing their takeover bid, and they are confident that the deal will soon be completed.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund are close to finalising a £300m purchase of the Magpies, but the bid has met fierce resistance from plenty of sources. Human rights infringements in Saudi Arabia have come into question, while the country's role in pirating Premier League games has also been suggested as a potential stumbling block in the takeover bid.
Just like any other prospective buyers, the PIF have been subjected to the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test, which is designed to determine whether a candidate would be a suitable owner, and a source close to the situation has confirmed to 90min that the PIF are confident their purchase will be finalised 'sooner rather than later'.
Confidence is so high that they believe they will be handed the keys to St James' Park before the end of the month.
There have been reports suggesting that other clubs have reached out to PIF chairman Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to try and encourage him to spend his money elsewhere, but the focus is on getting this deal for Newcastle over the line.
However, the PIF are exploring other potential takeovers as they look to build up a portfolio of clubs similar to that of the Abu Dhabi United Group, the Qatar-based Manchester City owners who own a number of teams across the globe.
They are also aware of interest in purchasing Leeds United from Qatar Sports Investment, who own Paris Saint-Germain, and the PIF's plan is to ensure they are not left behind when it comes to buying clubs.
The intention is to find other clubs in similar situations to Newcastle - a sleeping giant with enough underlying value to be able to blossom into one of their respective country's biggest teams. In terms of targets, Roma have emerged as a potential option, although current owner James Pallotta is understood to be close to finalising a deal with US businessman Dan Friedkin.
German sides Hannover and Dynamo Dresden are both believed to be in the PIF's sights, as are Ligue 1's Saint-Étienne, while there is also an intention to expand over to Major League Soccer.
The focus is currently on ensuring the deal to buy Newcastle gets over the line, but once that is confirmed, the PIF hope to quickly build up an impressive portfolio of teams across the world's top leagues.
Source : 90min