Newcastle United transfer news: 'Progress' in Bin Zayed Group takeover as D-Day for Rafa Benitez nears; £30m winger linked plus Man United interest in Sean Longstaff cools

The Sheikh Khaled-led, Bin Zayed Group takeover of Newcastle United continues to progress but a conclusion to the process is thought to be “some way off”.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 4:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 6:15 pm
General view inside the stadium during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Three weeks after the story of the takeover originally broke, and the group released two public statements of intent, it’s all gone quiet in the Middle East.

But a report in the Independent has claimed sources in the United Arab Emirates claim no group has been granted exclusivity and “it appears a conclusion [to the deal] remains some way off”.

It does, however, state the deal to wrestle control of the Magpies from Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley continues to progress.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It continues: “If [Rafa] Benitez, perhaps understandably in the circumstances, is keeping his powder dry to see what a new owner may have to say, he may have to remain patient for some time yet.”

Benitez’s current United deal runs out on June 30, with the club’s first-team staff returning to their Benton training base just five days later.

Meanwhile, on the transfer front, the sale of former striker Aleksandar Mitrovic by Fulham could hand Newcastle a summer transfer boost.

According to reports, should the Cottagers recoup a chunk of the reported £27million they paid for the Serbian, who is interesting Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis, Gayle is at the top of their wishlist this summer.

While United value Gayle in the region of £20million, it is thought an offer of around £15million might well be enough to sign the 28-year-old.

Elsewhere, according to L’Equipe, Newcastle are set to enter the race to sign Stade Rennais forward Ismaïla Sarr.

Watford are said to have already tabled a bid of around £30million, with the Ligue 1 outfit rejecting that outright. The report states they are looking for closer to £40m for the 21-year-old, who has 20 caps for his country.

And Manchester United regard Sean Longstaff as a “fall-back option” as speculation around the future of the Newcastle man continues.

The Manchester Evening News are reporting that Geordie Longstaff is NOT at the top of the Red Devils’ wanted list.

Instead Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, West Ham United’s Declan Rice and Youri Tielemans, who impressed on loan from AS Monaco at Leicester City last season, are ahead of him.