Tony Jimenez explains his bizarre 'cover story' at Newcastle – and reveals his REAL job at the club

Tony Jimenez has claimed that his player recruitment role at Newcastle United was just a smokescreen.

Jimenez was appointed as vice-president (player recruitment) in January 2008 by owner Mike Ashley to work with then-manager Kevin Keegan.

The club said at the time that Jimenez and technical co-ordinator Jeff Vetere would "assist in player recruitment".

READ MORE: Kevin Keegan recounts what Mike Ashley told a tribunal about his dealings with the media as Newcastle owner

However, Jimenez said was given a different role at St James's Park by Ashley, who had bought the club the previous year.

“Mike wanted me to sell the club on the basis of my relationships in the Middle East, so I came in under the cover story of working in player recruitment,” Jimenez told The Times.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley.

Jimenez claimed there was interest in the club at the time from Sheikh Mansour, who bought Manchester City later that year.

“If he had played his cards right Mike could have sold Newcastle to Abu Dhabi before they bought Manchester City," said Jimenez.

Jimenez has also rebutted some of the claims in Keegan's forthcoming autobiography.