Mike Ashley hikes asking price for Newcastle as time runs out for a takeover

Mike Ashley could demand as much as £400million for Newcastle United, according to a report.

Monday, 23rd April 2018, 5:39 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd April 2018, 6:21 pm
Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

The club has been on the market since last October.

Ashley broke off talks with Amanda Staveley in January after the financier failed to table a satisfactory offer.

Amanda Staveley

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At the time, the Ashley camp labelled talks as a “waster of time”.

Staveley responded by insisting that she was “still interested” in buying the club.

“Our bid remains on the table,” said Staveley. “The suggestion that we were either wasting time or not serious is absurd.”

Ashley was prepared to accept a bid close to £300million at the time given the club’s precarious Premier League position.

Amanda Staveley

However, the Gazette reported earlier this month that Ashley was ready to revise his asking price now the club had climbed away from the relegation zone.

And Sky Sports report that Ashley is looking to sell the club for £380-400million.

Planning is already underway at Newcastle ahead of next season.

United manager Rafa Benitez – who will meet Ashley next month to discuss his and the club’s future – is drawing up lists of potential summer targets with Steve Nickson, the club’s head of recruitment.

Speaking ahead of last night’s game against Everton, Benitez said: “I want to concentrate on games.

“At the same time, if they want to talk to my people they can talk. The main thing is to be sure we share the same ambition.”

Benitez – whose contract runs until the end of next season – was sounded out about a new deal in January.