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Mirror UK / Sports

Latest on Newcastle's takeover and impact on January transfer plans

Mike Ashley was expected to complete the £300m sale to Amanda Staveley last month with a Christmas Eve deadline set.


Newcastle fans are concerned about the lack of updates regarding the club's potential takeover.

Mike Ashley was expected to complete the £300m sale to Amanda Staveley last month with a Christmas Eve deadline set.

Newcastle fans had been hoping it would have gone through to boost their January transfer hopes.

But where do negotiations currently stand?

Our friends at the Chronicle have taken a closer look.

Amanda Staveley is the frontwoman for PCP Partners (Image: PA)

Should fans be worried the Christmas Eve deadline has passed?

Not unduly, no.

It has become a partial source of frustration for both parties that the Magpies remain under Ashley’s ownership, but both sides are understandably determined to reach an agreement which suits them.

An exact price was not agreed early enough to meet the Christmas Eve deadline - partly due to the exhaustive due-diligence process which PCP undertook at United, and partly due to a disagreement on valuation - and therefore not only was a takeover not completed by December 24, it was not even provisionally agreed either.

Where are the negotiations currently at?

Toon chief Mike Ashley (Image: Stu Forster)

Ashley and PCP remain in discussions, that much is clear, with Staveley still understood to be keen on buying Newcastle.

In mid-December news emerged suggesting a price was close to being agreed but, though it is believed both sides have edged closer towards a compromise valuation, an exact figure is yet to be settled upon.

Lawyers from both sides continue to discuss a potential sale, but there has been little movement over the festive period.

Why hasn't there been any movement?

The Christmas holidays themselves have been a factor, given that a lot of business grinds to a halt - or at the very least slows - during that period.

It seems as if Ashley being abroad has also led to a delay in progress, but the Sports Direct magnate is due back in the country next week and PCP is hopeful that will help facilitate movement on the takeover.

Does Staveley setting up a new company have anything to do with Newcastle?

Amanda Staveley is in line to take over Newcastle United (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Sources close to Staveley stress that the creation of this new company does not relate to the group’s interest in Newcastle, despite speculation having ramped up over the last 24 hours.

Intriguingly, however, closer inspection of Cantervale Ltd’s details show this company has been set up as a “financial intermediation” business, meaning it will likely be used as a holding company to acquire other financial assets and businesses.

In theory the company could therefore be used as a means of acquiring Newcastle United - though, as previously stated, sources claim that is not currently the case.

What does the name mean?

Good question. Mike Ashley famously called his holding company St James’ Holdings in a clear reference to Newcastle United but there's no clear meaning behind the name and it has no relevance to Newcastle.

Is it impacting January plans?

Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United celebrates (Image: Getty Images Europe)

The uncertainty surrounding future ownership of the club is certainly not helping Rafa Benitez as he desperately attempts to bring in January reinforcements.

The Spaniard is keen to sign a striker, a left-back, a midfielder and a goalkeeper, but he is yet to learn of his precise budget for the mid-season window.

It is believed that PCP did offer to aid United this month, but discussions over a potential January kitty - Ashley would likely have paid for players up front, then he would have been reimbursed further down the line - did not prove fruitful.

Instead it is Ashley who must support Benitez this month and, as things stand, the Newcastle manager is likely to have a restricted budget from which he must operate.

Will Newcastle sign anyone in January?

Benitez gives the thumbs up (Image: Getty)

Benitez certainly hopes so, but the United manager accepts that the majority - if not all - of his signings will come via the loan market, unless he sells before he buys.

A loan offer has been made for Chelsea youngster Kenedy, but the Blues will not allow any players to depart before they have a replacement signed, while enquiries have also been launched for Liverpool’s Danny Ings and Leicester City’s Islam Slimani.

At the moment Benitez is unsure how many players he will be able to sign, but the Spaniard will push hard to strengthen his squad this month.

Benitez set Ashley a January 20 deadline for signing players in the build-up to Christmas - however, it appears likely Newcastle’s business will stretch deeper into the window than that.

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