As reported by the BBC, the Newcastle United owner made a £15m bid to ‘save’ the struggling business, but upon being told he must up his ‘low offer’, it’s now been confirmed that he’s now withdrawn his interest and cancelled his bid.
He may have eventually sanctioned a £16m deadline day deal (potentially rising to £21m) for Miguel Almiron, but doesn’t this sound all too familiar to us NUFC fans?
This is how Ashley appears to operate in all walks of business – whether it be him buying companies on the verge of collapse or his ‘attempt’ to buy remotely expensive football players for Newcastle United.
Deals for the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazzete were there for the taking for us just a few years ago while they were impressing in France, but it was clear back then that we were sticking to our valuation and refusing to meet their asking price.
Just look at our long-winded pursuit of Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jorgensen last January. It was reported by just about every outlet that they wanted around £20m, yet our initial offer came in at £14m – and our bid was barely increased over the weeks that followed, leading to the predictable collapse of his potential arrival (despite it being clear he was keen to sign and that they were willing to do business at the right price).
In fairness, the Jorgensen deal looks like a lucky escape, but that’s not the point.
It seems to me that we got lucky and took a huge risk, with any deal relying on Atlanta buckling late on and accepting terms that were clearly reduced in our favour. It was stated by their President Darren Eales that he was valued at $30m (£23m), yet we’ve got away with a £16m deal that could rise to £21m.
His approach has worked this time and it’s great news for Rafa and the club, but it’s rare we’ve been able to say this – with Ashley’s latest Patisserie Valerie approach perhaps summing up just why this has often been the case.