The report claims that the Staveley-led group have held ‘detailed discussions’ with Mike Ashley’s representatives over the past month, but state that ‘no deal has been agreed’, with the NUFC owner ‘yet to receive a firm offer’.
The above may well be true, with talk of a deal being ‘imminent’ dying down over the past week, but I have serious doubts about claims they’ll move on to West Ham.
Why? Because co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold are said to value the club ‘way over’ Mike Ashley’s £340m asking price. They may be London based with big potential, but are the Saudi’s really going to invest big in a club that are in the relegation zone and seriously flirting with a drop down into the Championship?
Nevertheless, here’s a snippet from Football Insider’s latest piece on the takeover front:
The Saudi Arabian-backed consortium that has been in talks to buy Newcastle United may switch attention to taking over West Ham, Football Insider understands.
The Gulf Nation’s sovereign wealth fund have held detailed discussions over the last month about buying Newcastle for £340million but no deal has been agreed.
City sources have told Football Insider there are growing whispers the Saudi group could target a sensational takeover of West Ham instead.
Their valuation of the club is likely to be way in excess of the £340million Ashley is said to want for Newcastle.
West Ham are also an established Premier League outfit with a huge fan base, but their London location and impressive financial performance are very attractive to potential investors.
The Hammers also have a more valuable squad than Newcastle and invested further in it in January, with £22million Jarrod Bowen the headline signing among three new recruits.
Ashley has made no secret of his willingness to sell Newcastle, but remains fixed on a certain valuation of which he will not budge.
The Sports Direct tycoon wants £340million to relinquish control of the club and is yet to receive a firm offer.
It may well be that there’s been no breakthrough at our end of the deal and that Ashley is still yet to receive a ‘firm offer’, but I struggle to see them paying much more for a fellow Premier League club whose league status is far more dubious than ours at present.
Takeover talk may have gone quiet over the past week – and this could be a column filler for Football Insider to fill the void – but we’ll have to hope the silence is golden on that front.
After all, any deal always seems more unlikely when things are played out in public – not that any NUFC fan will be holding their breath given the number false dawn’s we’ve dealt with over the past few years.