Newcastle takeover in doubt as Amanda Staveley and Saudi talks ‘fall flat’

Newcastle United’s potential takeover by the Saudi Arabia sovereign-wealth fund has been cast even further into doubt.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been rumoured to be spearheading a £340million buyout of the Magpies, although this has never been confirmed.

The news was initially leaked by American business newspaper Wall Street Journal in January.

They reported that the deal was being brokered by Amanda Stavelely with all potential funds coming from the Public Investment Fund which is controlled by Prince Salman.

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But, according to the Shields Gazette , there has not yet been a positive conclusion to any long-running discussions.

Ashley, who wants the full £340m to relinquish control of the club has still to receive a firm offer and was said to be sceptical of the latest speculation.

Staveley failed to raise the funds needed for a previous takeover bid, and Ashley, at the time, felt that discussions had been a “waste of time”.

Ashley claimed last year that he could own Newcastle “forever” if nobody was willing to stump up the cash.

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Newcastle, meanwhile, went down 1-0 at Crystal Palace on Saturday after a woeful display in south London.

The results leaves Steve Bruce’s team in 14th place in the Premier League, seven points above the relegation places.

Fans are becoming increasingly concerned that the team could get dragged into he relegation dogfight as the season draws to a close.

The Toon Army have not scored on their last three Premier League games and teams are finding it easier to break them down.

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Bruce admitted after the game that his team simply were not good enough and claimed he may have to change the approach going forward.

"The better team won. We have had decent possession, but we gave the ball away too cheaply especially when in good areas,” he said.

"We didn't ask questions, maybe it is a time to change – we have to score to win a game. It was difficult with the conditions, but we have no complaints saying the better team won."

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