Mike Ashley in talks to sell Newcastle to City owner's cousin 3 months ago

Mike Ashley in talks to sell Newcastle to City owner's cousin

Some reports have already claimed the deal is done.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is reportedly in talks to sell the Premier League club to the investment group of UAE billionaire, Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Khaled, who is a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, is believed to be negotiating a deal worth approximately around £350m. He is also said to have failed in his attempts to buy Liverpool last year in a deal worth close to £2bn.

The BBC report that the Bin Zayed Group has said it has agreed terms and is hoping to finalise the deal for Newcastle swiftly.

"We can confirm the representatives of his Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team about the proposed acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club," a statement read.

"We view it as an honour to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club."

This follows some reports emanating from Dubai that the deal has already been completed.

Should it be confirmed, this would bring an end to Ashley's 12-year stint as owner of Newcastle.

The 54-year-old has been an unpopular figure with the club's supporters during his time at the helm, with fans regularly staging protests against his ownership and his failure to invest enough money into transfers.

Only in January did Newcastle break the club record transfer fee they paid Real Madrid for Michael Owen in 2005 in order to land Miguel Almiron - a signing that has failed to appease the ill feeling towards Ashley.

Newcastle finished the Premier League season in 13th position, with speculation persisting over the future of Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard's future on Tyneside appears to hinge on whether he will be given adequate funds to add to his squad over the summer. Should a deal with Sheikh Khaled be done, it's highly likely there will be a few additions to the Newcastle squad.