Newcastle could be under new ownership soon after financier Amanda Staveley launched an official £300million offer to buy the club from Mike Ashley.
The Sports Direct supremo put the club up for sale earlier this season and Sky Sports News claims Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners group submitted the formal offer late last week.
It is not yet known at this stage if Ashley – who has endured a troubled 10 years in charge – has accepted the offer.
It is also unclear whether PCP was the only credible bidder for the club, although people close to the process said the logical next step would be to award Ms Staveley a period of exclusivity within which to negotiate a deal.
That could come as soon as this week, according to insiders.
PCP’s funds come via a combination of Staveley’s own equity, as well as from their investors – mainly made up of Middle Eastern investors.
Staveley was previously keen on buying Liverpool but has now turned her attention to Newcastle
According to reports last month, Yorkshire-born Staveley, 44, plans to turn Newcastle into the “Manchester City of the North-East” and will also pledge an immediate £300million for player transfers.
She was a key player in Sheik Mansour’s acquisition of Manchester City in 2008 and is known to be keen on football assets.
Ashley bought Newcastle for £134million in 2007 and values Newcastle at nearer the £400m mark, so the deal might need some tough negotiations before a compromise is reached.
However, with Ashley known to be wanting to sell before Christmas, he may yet accept the offer from Staveley.