Newcastle United buyers want to 'do a Man City' but 'much quicker' when takeover is complete
And while United fans are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of official updates, the deal is expected to be given the green light. That would only leave the transferring of the funds to complete the exchange to end Mike Ashley’s unhappy 13-year tenure on Tyneside. The outstanding balance is thought to be in the region of £283million.
And some astonishing claims on the subject have been made by Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague.
In his Youtube Q&A, the writer discussed the takeover as well as possible managerial appointments after taking questions from his Twitter followers.
Discussing the prospective PIF purchase of United, he said his information is that the Saudi plan is to not only emulate current Premier League champions Manchester City, but better them – and quicker.
“Everyone expects it to go through. The Saudis and the fund will be in place and able to make the changes they want,” said Balague.
“But what do they want to do? They want to do a Manchester City, but not in 10 years, much, much quicker.
“They will have to deal with financial fair play and this is something they want to deal within.”
Mauricio Pochettino is the favourite to take the post at United, following on from Steve Bruce at the end of the 2019/20 season.
The Argentine is currently on ‘gardening leave’ at Spurs, with Daniel Levy still paying his £8million-per-season wage until the end of May.
At that point, compensation would not have to be paid to the London Stadium outfit, according to reports.
Balague is of the understanding Pochettino is the man the new owners want to take over after Bruce, but that former manager Rafa Benitez would be a more fitting appointment given United’s circumstances.
“He (Pochettino) would like to go to a top club in Europe – but at the moment there are no top clubs available,” Balague said of the former PSG defender.
“That could be a PSG, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Real Madrid. They are not available.
“The plan, until the big appearance of Newcastle, had been to stay put and wait for a big opportunity to arise.
“I know Pochettino has become the number one target for Newcastle. There is no doubt about that.
“What would I do in his position? Do what he is doing, listen.”
Spaniard Benitez’s position is a little more complicated.
He left United last summer to sign a three-year deal with Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang – and according to reports in the Daily Mail from earlier this year it would take a world record fee paid for a manager to free him from it. This was reported at the time as being around £20million.
“Perhaps right now it would be better to have a coach like Rafa Benitez, that could put the foundations for the club for someone like Pochettino, to change the mentality and get them closer to Europe. That maybe is an idea (they have),” Balague said.
“What I do know for sure is that Rafa Benitez, Pochettino and (Max) Allegri are the names on the table. They want to convince one of them, or (Julian) Nagelsmann. Ambitious as they are, they want one of those four.”
So, has Benitez had the call due to his close links with PCP Capital Partners’ Amanda Staveley?
He said: “I believe Rafa Benitez has not had a call yet and Pochettino is aware of the interest. Allegri has not got the experience in the Premier League and Nagelsmann I believe is happy fighting for the title in Germany.”