Ex-Man Utd & Chelsea chief Peter Kenyon heads takeover consortium

Yerry Mina Dominic Calvert-Lewin Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar challenge for the ball

According to multiple outlets including The Telegraph, a consortium led by former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is in pole position to launch a takeover, and he has been speaking to investors in the U.S. for "several weeks".

Ashley revealed in a rare television interview that ongoing negotiations were "at a more progressed stage than they've ever been" and although his comments were greeted with scepticism by fans who saw Amanda Staveley's proposed takeover collapse earlier this year, things appear to be developing apace.

Kenyon is reportedly working with American financial advisory firm, Rockefeller Capital Management over the purchase, though it is unknown if a firm bid has been made.

The Christmas break and Richard Scudamore's departure as executive chairman of the league later this month could also be complicating factors regarding that timeframe.

Ashley, who bought Newcastle in 2007, has officially been looking to sell the club since October 2017.

Ashley's inability and unwillingness to sell the club for less than his reported UK£400 million (US$512 million) asking price has left the team in a constant state of on-field struggle.

Richarlison celebrates scoring the equaliser
Richarlison celebrates scoring the equaliser

Bidders will have to act fast if they want to buy Newcastle prior to the January window.

"Realistic is maybe too strong a word", he said when asked how likely a deal was.

Manager Rafa Benitez has repeatedly bemoaned a lack of financial support in the transfer market, with the result being consecutive seasons battling against relegation.

In Ashley's 11-year ownership of Newcastle, the club have been relegated twice, have been involved in the controversial sackings of Kevin Keegan and Chris Hughton, and changed the stadium's name for commercial interests.

After taking just three points from their opening ten games, Benitez's side have improved recently, winning three successive games before West Ham eased past them at St James' Park.

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