Newcastle United transfer news: Bin Zayed Group takeover doubts but Jose Mourinho links remain; shift in Rafa Benitez future odds plus Magpies miss out on £22m Brazilian

The Bin Zayed Group takeover of Newcastle United, led by Sheikh Khaled, has reportedly been greeted with "scepticism" in the financial heart of the City of London.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 5:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th June 2019, 5:21 pm
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Jose Mourinho is seen in the stands prior to the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Everton FC at Craven Cottage on April 13, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

But that has not stopped the links to Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese still keen on managing the Magpies, if Sheikh Khaled overthrows Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley.

According to Sunday Times and Daily Record writer Duncan Castles, speaking on The Transfer Window podcast, believes that the Abu Dhabi takeover is a "long shot" at St James's Park - but he thinks the Mourinho links are very real.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Jose Mourinho is seen in the stands prior to the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Everton FC at Craven Cottage on April 13, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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"I can tell you that Jose Mourinho is interested to find out whether there is a possibility of Newcastle United being bought by a wealthy owner,” he said.

“If it was, he would be interested in finding out whether that is an opportunity for him to manage again.

“I think it’s a long shot, I think for the reasons we explained when we talked about that bid that’s been presented from a distant, relatively distant member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, that we had scepticism in the city of London as to whether a deal was actually in place.”

Representatives of the Bin Zayed Group have released two separate statements on a potential takeover of United - with little to no communication coming from the club or the Premier League.

Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United (R) shakes hands with Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United following victory in the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town at St. James Park on February 23, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez's contract has just 17 days to run and odds have tumbled on him becoming the new manager of former club Chelsea.

Benitez was as high as 33/1 just a few days ago with some bookmakers but is now as short as 3/1 with Sky Bet, and is second favourite behind Frank Lampard.

Benitez would not be a popular choice with the fans but still has a very good relationship with owner Roman Abramovich and would definitely be a safe choice for the role, especially with the Blues set to be under transfer embargo.

Elsewhere, Newcastle look set to miss out on reported target Wesley Moraes.

According to Calciomercato.com, the Brazilian striker, scouted by United, looks set to sign for Aston Villa for around £22million. Lazio were also reportedly keen on the player while Salomon Rondon has dropped off Wolves’ radar, leaving United free to sign the frontman.