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Ashley may hold onto Newcastle into New Year

Mike Ashley may remain in charge of Newcastle United into the New Year.

The Guardian says although Barry Moat, a Tyneside businessman, continues to engage in what are described as "constructive negotiations" with Ashley, the club's owner, about a potential buy-out, it is touch and go as to whether a deal can be concluded before Christmas.

Much still hinges on an amalgam of Ashley's continued refusal to reduce his £100m asking price, talks with Barclays Bank over the size of Newcastle's overdraft and, above all, the willingness of Moat's undisclosed backers to partially underwrite his bid.

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