Number of interested parties in Newcastle, Ashley wants sale ASAP

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Newcastle United remain on the market and there is seemingly a lot of interest in the Tyneside giants, if the latest reports are anything to go by, as it’s indicated that as many as four interested parties have expressed a willingness to reach a deal.

The Evening Chronicle suggests three potential buyers have signed non-disclosure agreements with the Magpies, with the exception being a consortium led by Amanda Staveley; a businesswoman who reportedly has around £28bn on her portfolio.

She was pictured on Tyneside before the international break, enjoying the Magpies 1-1 draw with Liverpool, but she’s reported to be a Reds fan and has also been attributed in interest in buying the Merseyside outfit- which suggests talk of a Newcastle deal could be premature.

Crucially though, Mike Ashley is said to want to conclude a sale swiftly and interested parties are keen to wrap-up a deal before February- when the new Premier League TV rights package comes into play, which will give investors a tidy profit.

Ashley could earn more for a sale after that deal comes into play but he’s keen to hand over the keys as soon as possible, though it’s unlikely Newcastle will be able to enjoy a financial injection into their side until next summer at the earliest.

That leaves the club in limbo heading towards the January transfer window, where Rafael Benitez may have to raise funds for incoming deals on his own by offloading players already on the books- which could include Dwight Gayle, who’s yet to find the net this season and was linked with a £15m switch to Fulham in the summer.

Ashley is said to have dropped his asking price from around £450m to £380m, a significant decrease, but any negotiations are likely to drag on until 2018- and there is of course the prospect of a deal falling through if Ashley changes his mind or an agreement cannot be reached.

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