Is this the Mexican multi-millionaire Mike Ashley met in London?
Alejandro Irarragorri was in London aroundx the time of a claimed meeting between Mike Ashley and two Mexican businessman.
It was reported yesterday that Newcastle United’s owner met the unnamed men – who were said to be club owners – last week.
Irarragorri, described as one of Mexico's brightest businessmen and entrepreneurs, attended the annual Leaders Week in the capital along with Atlanta United president Darren Eales and Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber this month.
The 48-year-old is president of Orlegi Sports, which owns the club Santos Laguna. Irarragorri was previously been linked with a move for Newcastle, which was put up for sale two years ago.
Irarragorri spoke about a failed move for an unnamed Premier League club earlier this month.
“We were completely looking towards Europe,” he said. “Last year, we were very close to achieving a purchase in the Premier League. Our group was not of sufficient size to proceed with that purchase.”
The meeting with Ashley, however, reportedly “came to nothing”. The Athletic added that the Mexicans “revealed to Ashley a fascination with Newcastle dating back to the 2005 movie ‘Goal!’”, which was filmed at the club.
Irarragorri, reportedly worth almost £350million, bought the majority share of Santos Laguna in 2013.
Ashley – who bought Newcastle 12 years ago – values the club at upwards of £300million. Speaking in the summer, Ashley said: “I have to assume I will stay running this football club. There are no offers. Define an offer. I’m not a believer any more.”