Report: Mike Ashley finalising sale of Newcastle United 4 weeks ago

Report: Mike Ashley finalising sale of Newcastle United

Mike Ashley's £350 million sale of Premier League club Newcastle United is reportedly completed, according to reports emerging from the Middle East.

A report by The Sun this weekend claimed that Ashley had found a buyer for the North East club in the form of Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, with the newspaper stating that contracts had been signed between relevant parties and registration papers submitted to the Premier League for approval on a £350 million deal.

Ashley placed Newcastle United up for sale two years ago, with a number of potential buyers linked with the club's purchase since then.

Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, and is reported to have been behind a failed £2 billion bid for Liverpool in 2018.

Newcastle failed to deny reports of the sale when contacted by the Chronicle, something which has only fuelled speculation about the current stage of negotiations.

That speculation will only be fuelled further after Hamed Alharthi, a TV presenter and journalist at Dubai Media Incorporated, tweeted his congratulations to Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan with regards to his purchase of the club.

"Welcome to the Premier League," tweeted Alharthi, leading to expected excitement from Newcastle supporters on the social media platform.

He was asked by a fan of the Magpies "Is it a done deal? Or still a rumour?".

Al Harthi replied "Done".

Newcastle United fans have long sought Ashley's departure from the club during a 12-year tenure as owner which has seen them relegated twice and break their transfer record just once, in January 2019 on Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron.

Manager Rafa Benitez is currently in negotiations with the club over a contract extension. It is understood that he has been offered a transfer pot of £66 million for summer signings.