Amanda Staveley has tabled a formal bid for Newcastle United.
Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners lodged an offer after going through the club’s books.
One report claimed the bid was worth around £300million.
However, it is understood that the cash value of the offer is worth less than that figure – and that the two parties are some way apart in their respective valuations of the Premier League club.
Owner Mike Ashley formally put United up for sale last month.
And a number of potential buyers, including financier Staveley, signed non-disclosure agreements ahead of a period of due diligence.
Staveley, backed by Middle East investors, could now be granted a period of exclusivity to conclude a deal.
Ashley – who bought Newcastle a decade ago for £134million – is keen to sell the club by Christmas.
That would allow a new owner to back Rafa Benitez in the January transfer window.
Benitez was frustrated at a lack of investment in his squad in the summer window.
Asked about January after the weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, Benitez said: “I don’t know what will happen.
“I’ll keep working until January as hard as I can to improve my players, and if we can do something, we will.
“If not, I’ll try to improve the players that are available to me.”
The offer from PCP Capital Partners offer has not been rejected by the club, though Ashley is reportedly looking for more than £300million.
Staveley – who helped broker Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of Manchester City in 2008 – attended last month’s home game against Liverpool.
The identity of the other interested parties is unclear.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s Under-23s returned to winning ways last night.
Peter Beardsley’s side beat Reading 4-1 at St James’s Park thanks to two goals from Luke Charman, a strike from Callum Roberts and an own goal from Gabriel Osho.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Woodman, Sterry, Haidara, Colback, Yarney, Gillesphey, Fernandez, Barlaser, Heardman (Charman, 71), Saivet, Roberts.