Newcastle’s poor form and relegation scrap could scupper £300m takeover hopes

Mike Ashley.
Mike Ashley.
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Newcastle United have been linked with a £300million takeover by a group of American investors – but any potential deal hinges on the club’s Premier League position.

Reports yesterday claimed that a group of ‘seriously wealthy’ US businessmen are capable of meeting Mike Ashley’s asking price.

However, with Rafa Benitez’s side languishing 19th in the league table, the threat of relegation would put any potential deal in doubt.

A source said: “We are talking seriously wealthy people.

“They have the funding and see the potential.

“They see a sleeping giant and feel they cannot only have a real go at providing the success fans crave but also take Newcastle to the next level globally.

“Any potential buyer is wary of the league position. The fear is that you pay £300m now, back the manager with another £100m in January and still get relegated.

“All of a sudden you’ve spent £400m for a club that is suddenly only worth £150m. It’s a huge risk. Ideally, Newcastle go on a run and a sale goes through once the window has closed when they’re close to, or have stayed up.”

Benitez’s side are yet to win in eight attempts this season with their only points coming in stalemates with Cardiff City and Crystal Palace.

The Magpies face crunch clashes with Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton in their next two games - who were both near the relegation places last term.

If Newcastle secure the maximum six points on offer and climb out of the bottom three, it is said that it will only increase the chances of a bid from the US supremos.

Meanwhile, Ayoze Perez admits Newcastle need to be better on the ball if they are to unlock Brighton’s defence on Saturday.

Perez said: “It’s going to be massive. We are playing at home, three points are available that we can win.

“Over the two-week international break we are determined to make sure we are ready for this challenge.

“We have to make sure we perform as we have done against the top sides – we need the same energy, intensity and focus we showed against some of the big teams when we approach these games against sides we maybe can win against.

“We need to be sure we can do it against these kind of teams who are less open and more defensively solid. We need to be disciplined defensively, but better on the ball.

“We know we can do it, but it’s a different kind of challenge to what we’ve faced already this season. Brighton are a good team, very organised, but we have to believe in ourselves.

“The manager and the players really believe we’re close to getting positive results – now we just need to do it.”