Date: 23rd June 2019 at 6:30pm
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Newcastle United are facing a “big week” in their rumoured takeover, according to the Chronicle journalist Mark Douglas.

The Magpies have been heavily linked with a buyout from the Bin Zayed Group, but information on a potential deal has dried up significantly in recent weeks.

And Douglas has suggested that this coming week, with Rafa Benitez’s contract set to expire next Sunday, could be make or break for any agreement.

Writing in a piece for the Chronicle, he said: “The current state of play remains that the club is “in negotiations” with several parties, not quite the final stages of a deal that we might have hoped for. The hope is now that the looming end of the month deadline on Benitez will focus minds and accelerate the process.

“ChronicleLive has ascertained that work is definitely still being done on deals but it’s not at the very last part of the process: the top flight’s owner’s and directors test. If this is kicked off, the deal is as good as done and the plans of the new owners will be detailed enough for Newcastle fans to start looking forward to a new era.

“This could well be a big week in the process. The Bin Zayed Group’s original timeline was to be in a position to assume control by the end of June – with sources claiming “processes” would take “at least” between 10-15 days back at the end of May.”

OPINION

All in all, we’re no further forward than we were this time a week or two ago in terms of solid information, but there certainly seems to be some kind of sea change coming with regards to whether or not a deal will be reached. You get the impression that even if an official deal is not struck by next Sunday, there will be a much clearer understanding of where Newcastle stand by then, for better or worse. It will be a worry to many fans that Benitez’s contract is being touted as a catalyst for any takeover to go through. What if a buyer, not necessarily the Bin Zayed Group, has their hearts set on working with the Spaniard and then he walks away? Would they jump ship too? Honestly, who can say for definite? The only certainty right now is uncertainty. The question that has to be asked now is whether things can get any worse. Where Mike Ashley is concerned, the answer is usually yes.