A Newcastle takeover bid from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is gathering momentum, with owner Mike Ashley prepared to do the deal if the consortium can produce the funds.
The consortium is fronted by businesswoman and Newcastle fan Amanda Staveley, who unsuccessfully attempted to buy the club in 2017. However, Ashley is open to selling the club this time around if the price is right, with the ball now in PIF's court.
On Wednesday, 90min revealed that PIF had returned to the negotiating table, with the Magpies taking the interest more seriously. However, the club want to ensure that the Premier League would approve the deal well in advance, before negotiations reach a pivotal stage.
According to the Newcastle Chronicle, documents have been submitted to the Premier League, although a deal is yet to be agreed with Ashley.
Negotiations are ongoing and although paperwork has been sent, there has been no formal offer received from Newcastle.
A report in the Daily Mail states that Staveley's side are 'hopeful' of reaching a deal, and a long term business plan has been outlined.
However, they are cautious with regards to dealing with Ashley.
90min also revealed that the Newcastle owner was concerned over how the coronavirus outbreak would affect his assets.
Ashley owns Sports Direct, and the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is set to have a considerable impact on the retail industry.
Sports Direct had attempted to stay open during lockdown by claiming that they were an 'essential service'. Staff have since been placed on furlough, but have been informed that wages beyond 30 April 'cannot be guaranteed beyond this point'.
In January, it was reported that Ashley wanted to sell for £340m, but the coronavirus outbreak could see Staveley's group attempt to reduce the asking price.
According to the Daily Mail, Sports Direct sources state that Ashley is increasingly willing to sell the club and 'wants done with it'.
Source : 90min