Newcastle United briefing: Mike Ashley asking price 'over the odds', Mohamed Diame's fighting talk

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley

How much is Newcastle United REALLY worth?

That's the question we're asking as talks continue with a number of potential buyers.

Is the club worth owner Mike Ashley's reported price tag?

We have spoken to a football finance expert.

Manager Rafa Benitez has also talked about his future in a wide-ranging interview.

And Mohamed Diame has spoken about his battle at United, and a defender has hinted at a comeback, ahead of Sunday's game against Southampton at the St Mary's Stadium.

Mohamed Diame

Mohamed Diame

Here's your daily briefing:

Price tag

A number of interested parties have declared an interest in buying Newcastle since Ashley spoke about his willingness to sell in the summer.

But do they have money? And will they stump up enough to persuade Ashley to do business?

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Dr Daniel Plumley, an academic at Sheffield Hallam University who studies football finance, believes the club is over-valued by Ashley, despite the Premier League's huge TV revenues.

A figure of £380million has been mentioned.

“That asking price is arguably over the odds," said Dr Plumley.

“Current brand value, based on factors such as league standing, revenue potential, fan base and global exposure, has Newcastle valued at around £190-200million.

“This is almost double that, so I would argue it’s a high asking price.

“It’s probably also linked to what Mike Ashley has injected in with regards to his own funds and trying to recoup some of that which is fair enough, but based on market brand values it might be tough to achieve that figure.”

Read the full interview with Dr Plumley here.

Fighting talk

Diame reportedly had a training ground bust-up with United captain Jamaal Lascelles last week.

The midfielder, however, insists he's only interested in fighting his way into Rafa Benitez's starting XI.

Diame, signed last year from Hull City, is yet to start a Premier League game for the club.

“I just have to be patient and keep working and show at every single training session that I want to play,” said Diame.

“When I come on, I need to show that I’m ready and I want to play like everyone.”

Comeback

Massadio Haidara hasn't kicked a ball in anger since July.

But the 24-year-old is close to a comeback at Newcastle.

Meanwhile, former United striker Leon Best, without a club since leaving Ipswich Town in the summer, is training with Charlton Athletic.