Amanda Staveley has reportedly tabled a formal offer of £300 million to take over Newcastle United from Mike Ashley.
The financer's PCP Capital Partners entered due diligence with the United hierarchy just days after it was announced that Ashley had put the Tyneside club up for sale last month.
And Staveley has begun her formal process to takeover from Ashley – with her bid expected to be negotiated with the Sports Direct tycoon over the coming weeks.
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Sale by Christmas and funds for January?
Newcastle announced on October 16 that Ashley had put the club up for sale in order secure “the positioning and investment necessary” to take the club to the next level.
The statement also said: “As one of the Premier League's oldest and best supported football clubs - and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world - Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future."
The club noted that it is "an important time in its history" and said: “To give an incoming owner the maximum possible flexibility to make meaningful investment in the club, including in its playing squad, the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments.”
Further to that statement, it was reported that Ashley was hopeful of a sale by Christmas, though that looks increasingly unlikely.
The Magpies, who currently sit 11th in the Premier League table, have lost their last games – restoring Rafael Benítez and supporters to urge for new signings.
If a takeover cannot be finalised before the January transfer market, it is likely that Staveley and her PCP partners will strike an agreement to fund Benítez while they continue to try to find an agreement to buy the club.