Newcastle United takeover: '#NUFCTakeover' trends on Twitter amid reports of '£340m' Saudi Arabia talks

Tom Doyle
Action Images via Reuters

Reports of a potential takeover at Newcastle United have led to intense speculation that Mike Ashley could be set to sell the club.

'#NUFCTakeover' was trending on Twitter in the UK on Saturday afternoon, with PA reporting that Newcastle owner Ashley is in talks with two potential buyers.

The report suggests talks between Ashley's representatives and a consortium assembled by Amanda Staveley, which includes Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund, have been ongoing for around four months.

A second unnamed group is also reportedly in discussions over a prospective takeover, while the Wall Street Journal claims a £340million bid from Staveley's consortium is on the table and that a deal could be struck within weeks.

There has been no official comment from the club.

It would not be the first time Staveley has tried to buy the club. Ashley broke off talks with her PCP Capital Partners in January 2018, accusing her of wasting his time, with Tyneside gripped by the saga.

Mike Ashley (PA)

Newcastle have been for sale for much of the Sports Direct owner's near-13 years at the helm, but a series of interested parties - former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon among them - have failed to prise it from his grasp.

Ashley has insisted that any deal must be done in private, a point he made forcefully in a rare interview last year.

(REUTERS)

He said: "The reality is with these deals that once it gets out, if it's not done, it's probably not going to get done."