The newspaper claim on their website that the proposed deal with the Bin Zayed Group is some way from being completed, with the necessary owner and director’s test yet to begin, and that the club are focusing on footballing matters first.
It is stated the club are in the latter stages of hunting a replacement for Rafael Benitez and once the new boss is appointed the focus will turn towards securing transfer deals.
The report goes on to say that numerous parties are in talks with the Magpies over securing a takeover but that there is a real prospect of the club still being owned by Ashley when the Premier League season kicks off.
Not the news any Newcastle United fan wanted to hear. While the appointment of a new manager is of course important, the Toon Army would rather it was a new owner bringing in their prefered option than Ashley replacing Benitez. However, it is crucial for the club to find some sort of stability and if that comes with getting a manager in place and signings through the door, so be it. They cannot afford to delay for much longer, the players already back in training on Tyneside, and so something has got to be done. If a takeover deal is a serious possibility then Ashley should have consulted the prospective investors to inform them of his plans and whether or not it would affect a potential deal. Of course, Ashley has proven in the past to make his own decisions without regarding the wider impact and it could well be the Sports Direct supremo is once again putting his own interests first.