Mike Ashley is waiting on an improved offer for Newcastle United from Amanda Staveley.
Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners tabled a bid for the club last week.
And news of the offer, which could be worth up to £300million, leaked out on Monday night.
However, that figure is understood to include performance-based add-ons. And the cash value of the offer is significantly less than £300million.
United owner Ashley – who formally put the club up for sale last month – is looking for closer to £400million, though he hasn’t set a fixed asking price.
The billionaire is prepared to accept staggered payments.
Staveley’s group, backed by Middle East investors, has not yet been granted a period of exclusivity.
A number of other potential buyers have also signed non-disclosure agreements with the club.
One or more of them could yet make a bid of their own after going through the club’s books.
Staveley’s offer, meanwhile, also included a provision for a rebate in the event of relegation.
This was not acceptable to Ashley, who is keen to sell ahead of the January transfer window. The two sides are some way apart, though Staveley’s bid is seen as an opening offer.
Having tested the waters, she’s expected to return with an improved bid.
Ashley – who was disappointed that news of the initial bid was leaked – is still hopeful a deal can be done, as is Staveley.
Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has given an injury update on Jamaal Lascelles (ankle), Christian Atsu (thigh), Mikel Merino (back) and Paul Dummett (hamstring) ahead of Saturday’s home game against Watford.
Benitez said: “Lascelles is getting better, but still he will need some time, and Atsu is the same.
“It’s too early to say (when they will be back).
“But Merino’s been doing part of the training session, and Dummett has done the full training session, so that’s positive news for us.”