Newcastle takeover: Mike Ashley CONFIRMS sale plans BEFORE transfer window

Newcastle had a difficult start to the season under Rafa Benitez but three wins in a row moved them up the table before a 3-0 home defeat by West Ham United at the weekend. — Reuters pic

Mike Ashley has told Sky News he wants to sell Newcastle before the January transfer window and that talks are at a "more progressed stage" than ever.

Asked whether that was a realistic proposition, he added that it was "possible", but that realistic was "maybe too strong a word".

Takeover talks with businessman woman Amanda Staveley ultimately amounted to nothing, but it appears Ashley has found a new potential buyer willing to match his alleged £300m+ asking price.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez recently called on the board to remain committed to signing players and not have their appetite lessened by their recent three-game winning streak in the Premier League.

"It was interesting that he had enough funds to buy House of Fraser after the summer transfer window closed".

Ashley nearly sold the club last season to businesswoman Amanda Staveley but the deal fell through.

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"I'd like it to be before the January transfer window", he said.

But earlier today, American outlet AJC revealed the billionaire was NOT the man ready to end Ashley's 11-year reign as owner of Newcastle.

The Toon Army will take Ashley's words with an Everest-sized amount of salt, with many viewing Ashley's "attempts" to sell Newcastle previous year as simply being a ploy to detract from his poor running of the club and to prevent him from spending in the January transfer window.

"Hopefully we can carry on the recent good form and get someone in".

The 53-year-old Londoner has proved a divisive figure during his tenure, which has seen Newcastle twice relegated from the Premier League and then immediately promoted back.

"I'm very keen to sell it to the right buyer so that everybody's happy, That would be good news".

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