Date: 29th January 2020 at 7:15am
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As takeover talk in regards to Newcastle United continues to rumble on, the Athletic’s George Caulkin – one of the most reliable and respected names amongst the journalists covering the club – answered a question in regard to reports emerging about Mike Ashley. 

Amid suggestions the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund were closing in on a deal to buy the Toon Army, the Chronicle (19:47 on Monday night) claimed the Sports Direct owner was furious at leaks about the matter making their way to the press. So, with that in mind, fan account @GallowgateShots asked Caulkin why he believes Ashley would hate that happening.

In response, Caulkin suggested he thinks the Magpies owner doesn’t like the idea of being bounced into anything, potentially preferring to get his business done without anybody else knowing.

What does this mean for Newcastle?

Like everything to do with this takeover story at the moment, it’s not quite clear. Indeed, respected outlets such as BBC Sport and the Guardian have written about negotiations being at an advanced stage, while big voices in the Toon community in the shape of Luke Edwards and Mark Douglas have urged caution.

Caulkin’s insight does speak to what’s gone on before though. After all, the Daily Mail recently suggested Amanda Staveley had irritated Ashley amid her proposed takeover back in 2017, while the statements from the Bin Zayed group in 2019 saw him state he was ‘never doing that’ again after ‘Peter Kenyon convinced me last Christmas that it was going to get done’.

In fact, his quotes (via the Chronicle); ‘by the time the media find out, it’s already complete’ and ‘there’s no need for a delay with Newcastle’ would suggest that the recent reports are wide of the mark altogether. Hopefully, for the fanbase, things are different this time – but the precedent is certainly there for things to fall away.

How do you see this takeover going? Join the discussion by commenting below…