Garry Cook, the former chief executive of Manchester City, is heading a consortium interested in buying Newcastle United - according to reports.
The Sunday Mirror have claimed Cook, who is also a former Nike executive , is leading a bid to buy the Magpies, with Ashley looking to bank £300million from the sale.
Cook was appointed City's chief executive in 2008, just months before the club was bought by Sheikh Mansour.
Mansour, the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, had registered an interest in buying Newcastle from Mike Ashley around the same time.
However, the Arab prince was persuaded to buy the Citizens following one of Cook's PowerPoint presentations, selling Mansour the City dream.
Cook was involved in the sacking of manager Mark Hughes in December 2009, before resigning from his role at City in 2011.
City's former chief executive was praised by the club's chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak for "transforming" the club's infrastructure and future direction.
Since City's takeover, the club have won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and the FA Cup.
Meanwhile, Newcastle fans have been left frustrated by Ashley's leadership.