Amanda Staveley is yet to return with an improved bid for Newcastle United.
Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners submitted an offer for the Premier League club worth up to £300million last week.
However, the cash value of the bid was less than that figure.
And United owner Ashley – who is prepared to accept staggered payments – rejected the offer.
One or more of the other interested parties, having have signed non-disclosure agreements and gone through the club’s books, could yet lodge a bid of their own.
Ashley did not set an asking price at the start of the sale process.
However, the billionaire is understood to be looking for closer to £400million, though that figure could prove to be unrealisitc.
Dubai-based Staveley, backed by Middle East money, has not been granted a period of exclusivity to conclude a deal.
Sports Direct majority owner Ashley – who bought Newcastle a decade ago for £134million – hopes to sell the club by Christmas.