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Newcastle still up for sale despite reports of possible American consortium deal

Newcastle still up for sale despite reports of possible American consortium deal
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The club has been up for sale since October last year.

Newcastle remains up for sale despite reports that owner Mike Ashley could be ready to offload the club to an American consortium, Press Association Sport understands.

A report has suggested the sportswear magnate has been in the United States in a bid to tie up a deal for the business he placed on the market for the third time in October last year.

However, sources on Tyneside were mystified by the suggestion on Wednesday, insisting the Magpies are still up for sale and that no purchase is imminent.

Ashley invited offers once again after admitting he could not afford to take the club to the next level and while there has been interest, most significantly from Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners, no-one has come close to taking it off his hands.

The collapse of Staveley's bid dashed the hopes of fans desperate to see a change of ownership after 11 barren years at St James' Park, and hopes were raised in September when it emerged that former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon was trying to put together a consortium.

Manager Rafael Benitez's future is uncertain after a summer transfer window where he opted not to sign a new contract until he received assurances over the club's ambition, while Ashley refused to commit to further investment as long as that deal remained unsigned.

There has been something of a rapprochement in recent weeks with the owner attending the club's last seven Premier League games and witnessing victories over Watford and Bournemouth in the most recent of them.

However, Newcastle are still engaged in a top-flight survival fight which could have a significant impact on the club's value.

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