There are at least two other bidders for Newcastle United alongside the Bin Zayed Group, according to the Times.
The national newspaper claim that no exclusivity agreement has been signed between BZG and Mike Ashley, and the other parties in the running are at varying stages of progress.
The Times report that discussions regarding a possible takeover are being handled by Justin Barnes who is Ashley’s Sports Direct fixer.
While other parties have been reported as been keen on buying Newcastle in recent months, it’s now known who is handling discussions. It should come as no surprise that Barnes is the one handling talks, as his name has cropped up in association with Ashley before. The Chronicle reported last August that Barnes has a role at Newcastle United, and has been with the club since January 2017, but that not much is known about what he does exactly. The newspaper describes Barnes as being part of Ashley’s inner circle and as the businessman’s lieutenant, and that shows how much trust the current Magpies owner is likely to have in him. As for the rest of the Times’ update on the potential takeover of the Magpies, it doesn’t make it sound like anything is imminent. The national newspaper claims that bidders are being played off against each other, with Ashley likely searching for the biggest payday, and that isn’t going to end until it’s 100% clear no one else is going to swoop in.