Is this the stumbling block to a Newcastle takeover?

Mike Ashley wants to keep Sports Direct adverts at St James's Park after any sale, according to a report.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 8:23 am
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 8:28 am
Mike Ashley.

Ashley had claimed that a sale before the festive period was a "possibility".

However, the club will still be in Ashley's hands when the transfer window opens next month – and it is unclear if manager Rafa Benitez, out of contract next summer, will get the backing he wants.

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There are understood to be four groups interested in taking over the club, which is 14th in the Premier League.

And The Mirror have revealed a "stumbling block" to deal.

It's reported that Ashley wants to "retain an advertising presence at St James’s Park for his Sports Direct brand".

St James's Park has a large number of adverts for Sports Direct, the firm founded and majority-owned by Ashley, who bought the club 11 years ago.

The company has only recently started paying for this advertising.