Newcastle United news: Takeover hits major block as Rafa Benitez nears transfer breakthrough
Newcastle United welcome Fulham to St James's Park tomorrow - but it's takeover and transfer talk that dominate the headlines ahead of the clash.
The Magpies face Claudio Ranieri's side in what could prove to be a pivotal fixture at the foot of the Premier League table.
While fans are optimistic about securing a result against the Cottagers, they are more sceptical when it comes to rumours of a takeover of the club.
Four parties are thought to be keen on a deal to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley, but talks have stalled in recent days.
And reports from the Daily Star this morning reveal what could be a major block in takeover discussions.
MORE: Is this the issue holding-up takeover discussions?They claim that Ashley is keen to see his Sports Direct advertising remain at St James's Park after a sale is completed, which could deter some of the interested parties.
As revealed by the Gazette yesterday, the Newcastle owner has jetted off on his traditional festive holiday after claiming that a deal being completed before the turn of the year was a 'possibility'.
Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez is preparing for the January transfer window with full-backs and a number ten on his wishlist.
But it's outgoings that have hit the headlines today, with the Spaniard thought to have made a breakthrough in his attempts to move on full-back Achraf Lazaar.
The Moroccan international has fallen out of favour at St James's Park and has been playing with the under-23 side this season.
READ: Newcastle 'approaching' agreement for defender dealReports from Tutto Mercato Web, though, suggest that both Genoa and Frosinone are keen to see the defender make the move to Serie A.
The same reports claim that a deal is 'approaching', meaning Lazaar may not be on Tyneside much longer.