MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 21:40:21

Rafael Benitez: 'I was told by Mike Ashley takeover was off'

Benitez: 'I was told takeover was off'
© Offside
Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez says that he can only continue working with his current crop of players while takeover talks continue behind the scenes.

Rafael Benitez has claimed that he was informed "two or three weeks" ago by owner Mike Ashley that a proposed takeover of Newcastle United was off.

Talks between Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners group and Ashley appeared to collapse after a failure to reach an agreement on the valuation of the club.

Staveley revealed in an interview with The Times on Friday that an offer of £250m up front remains on the table, however, offering hope that a deal can still be struck in the coming weeks.

Asked for an update on the situation at his weekly press conference, Benitez said: "When I was talking with Mike Ashley he told me the takeover would not go through.

"Since then - I'm talking maybe two or three weeks - we are just trying to do what we have to do in the transfer window and preparing the team for the games.

"In terms of the transfer window, we have some targets and the club has the names. We are trying to progress. We will try to do something. [Ashley] has the names and the club will try to sign the players we gave to them."

Newcastle, 15th in the Premier League table, are yet to get off the mark in terms of new signings this month.


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Rafael Benitez squats and barks during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Newcastle United on November 18, 2017
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