Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is working to complete a takeover at Newcastle after agreeing terms with Mike Ashley, a representative for the Emirati businessman has revealed.
The UAE-based businessman insists he has “agreed terms” and is now attempting to “complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity”.
A statement released by the Bin Zayed Group, of which Sheikh Khaled is chairman, said: “We can confirm that representatives of His Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team, about the proposed acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club.
“We view it as an honour to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club.
“We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity.”
Ashley, who bought the Magpies for £134.4million in 2007, has freely admitted he cannot afford to take them to the next level and put the business up for sale for the third time during his tenure in October 2017.
He has always insisted if somebody could provide the finance he cannot, he would happily sell and it remains to be seen if a deal can be pushed through.
Sheikh Khaled was linked to completing a move for Liverpool last year, although that was valued at around £2billion.
The proposal did not get past the vetting stage according to media reports.
There was no official comment from Newcastle on Monday, although sources on Tyneside indicated that Sheikh Khaled had expressed an interest, but that there was still a distance to go before a deal could be finalised.
Talks with a series of potential purchasers are understood to have taken place in recent weeks with Newcastle having secured their Premier League status for another season, although Ashley is keen for negotiations to be conducted away from the spotlight.
Time is of the essence with manager Rafael Benitez currently engaged in ongoing discussions over his future with just weeks to go before his contract expires and the summer transfer window already open.
Benitez is an immensely popular figure on Tyneside having proved to be a steady hand following the club’s promotion from the Championship in 2017.
The Magpies have finished the two subsequent seasons in 10th and 13th respectively.
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